Jacob The Horse – Sunshine

After a gloomy week or two weather-wise in this part of Spain, things seem to be turning a corner. There might well be another cold snap before I leave but I’m happy to report that, for now at least, daily temperature highs are peaking in the 20’s (centigrade) and the nights are no longer in low single figures. Without the benefit of central heating that was really very cold indeed. 

The sunshine makes me happy. I could do without the stifling, over-bearing heat of the intense Summer months but for the most part you can get a decent dose of vitamin D here without feeling that sticky oppression. Yesterday, I deliberately took a 45 minute lunch break from the day job to sit out on the terrace and chill. I started to read a book, something I’ve not done for a long time. With a pleasant warm heat beating on my brow and a book to transport me to another time I couldn’t have been happier.

Some might think at first glance that Jacob The Horse are also commenting upon happy times in their first release for nearly four years, ‘Sunshine’. It’s certainly a spirited and bouncy number, an energetic punk-pop piece with an accompanying video that’ll probably make you smile. The cheesy, charm of the choreographed dance routines mostly offer good, frantic fun in these dark days.

But scratch beneath the surface and you’ll soon see that ‘Sunshine’ is not the smiley song that it first appears to be. “‘Sunshine’ is the happiest song you’ll ever hear about having a depressive episode.“, offers Aviv from Jacob The Horse by way of explanation. “The depressed mind’s message in this song is strangely fitting for today’s locked down culture: ‘I’m writing down my Netflix info, won’t you come on home, avoid the sunshine.’

‘Sunshine’ is the first single to be taken from Jacob The Horse’s forthcoming album, College Party Mixtape, Vol 1. Out in March, I’ve had a sneak-preview listen and the LA based band have certainly put something together that’ll be well worth looking out for. Today, though, is all about the sunshine.

I’m sure that we all have friends and family members who mask their underlying sadness by trying to be the life and soul of the party. We all have colleagues who live their lives at manic speed because to slow down would give them time to think about the things they don’t want to. If there’s any ‘message’ to be taken from today’s post (and there doesn’t have to be) perhaps it’s that we should take some time with our friends to see how solid their sunny state is. And that will be time well spent. 


Nothing Special – Brandi

I’m not coming home yet. I had a flight that was booked at the end of December but it didn’t seem to make a great deal of sense to get on it. England is a grey, drizzly damp squib most January’s but in 2021 the prospects are even worse. With Covid out of control and the country entering into its umpteenth lockdown, it wasn’t a hard decision to make to choose to stay in Spain a little longer. 

Not that it’s a bed of roses here. Weather forecasts for the next week look cold; a daily low of two degrees feels severe when villa’s have no central heating. New Covid lockdown regulations will be coming into play here meaning that bars and restaurants have to close at 5PM and there’s a curfew on the streets from 10. And of course, Brexit means that I’m having to count my days spent here with a 90 day allowance in any rolling 180 being a reality.

Still I’m not coming home. And I’m not the only one. 

Nothing Special are a new pop punk boy band from Ontario. In their incredibly breezy song, Brandi, they also admit to whoever Brandi is that they’re not coming home. We don’t get to learn from where they’re not arriving or indeed who Brandi is in relation to the protagonist but my sense is that this doesn’t matter one jot. 

This is happy, upbeat music made to bring smiles to your face as you recall what it was like to skate around neighbourhoods freely and without care. I reckon we all need some sort of bouncey boost to help get the spring into our January step. And this should do that trick.