A Short Piece on Laos and ‘Calm’, by Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn

I think that there’s something universal, something shared, in the way you feel when a song lyric directly comments on what you’re doing the moment you hear it. You stop, you think — you feel seen, grateful, warm.

I remember the moment this song had that particular effect on me on a journey somewhere through Laos. I’d just woken up and started playing music on shuffle.

Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn’s ‘Calm’ fades in.

I’m packed onto a run-down coach travelling across a particularly rural stretch of the country.

I watch the late-morning sun, lumbering lazily towards its peak. I remember dry yellow-green grass fields rolling in every direction, sprawling and undeveloped; an arrangement of breathtaking mountains in the distance, hazily etched into the deep-blue sky through brushstroke cloud.

I can picture the image vividly — I can pause it, zoom in or zoom out; I can see myself smile as that expressive, ascending keyboard loops over and over.

I felt happy, and it’d been that way for ages. Isn’t life the best when you forget you’re living it?

Regardless of my overindulgent context, though, it’s a banger.

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