I want to apologize to, uh, pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to recently, for I have spent the last few years spreading the gospel of Sloan. Sloan is a band 27 years into their career, and I may have gone my whole life not knowing them if it weren’t for my boyfriend. Now—NOW—I’m a nut. But it didn’t hit its peak until they came around on tour supporting their new album, 12, last month.
I’m certain I’ve been insufferable about Sloan. I talked so much about them leading up to the show (frankly, I did this the last time I saw them, too), peer pressuring my friends, co-workers and family by bombarding them with links to songs and playing albums for them in the car. These tactics have victimized my brother the most, and I don’t think he minds (DO YOU, EVAN?!). Everyone else, I’m not so sure. But it all comes from a place of just generally wanting to share great, underrated music that I’m enthusiastic about. I am in love with falling in love with new things to consume—books, television shows, movies, music.
I first heard Sloan—Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, and Andrew Scott, plus keyboardist Gregory MacDonald—about four years ago when my boyfriend, Aaron, played me one of their albums. They’re pretty popular in Canada, where they’re from, but they have a smaller following in the U.S. I can say with confidence and without exaggeration that Aaron might be the biggest, most knowledgable Sloan fan in the country (my own personal Sloan encyclopedia), so it wasn’t too long after we met that he introduced them to me.
Let it out. Don’t feel pressured to become a more ‘chill’ version of yourself.
Right away I was drawn to their Beatle-y, Stones-y, kind of punk Fleetwood Mac sound. Once I saw them live for the first time later that year, in 2014, I christened myself a lifer. I love a lot of things. An annoying thing about me is that I can pinpoint the exact moment of clarity for all of them. That first Sloan concert was my moment with them.
Reading the first chapter of a book, watching the first episode of a TV show or listening to a song by a new band for the first time and instantly knowing it’s going to become a part of my life is the best feeling in the world. It’s happened to me so many times, and it never loses its luster. I know the second I became a Lord of the Rings dweeb (watching Fellowship of the Ring on DVD in 2002 with my dad and brother and then reading the trilogy a week afterward), a Springsteen devotee (hearing “Thunder Road” live in 2009), an Arrested Development fan (bingeing the series on Netflix over a few weeks during my last semester of college).
We’re living in a time where anything we want to consume is basically right at our fingertips. A quick Google search can point us in the direction of anything we want to watch or read or listen to, whether it’s streamed, downloaded or purchased (please buy your media, people). It overwhelms me sometimes for sure, but the abundance of all of this stuff has also helped offset a fear I’ve harbored for the last decade or so—that eventually I’d lose the desire to discover more, or that I’d become apathetic to the feeling of loving something new.
Enthusiasm certainly ebbs and flows depending on my mental health’s peaks and valleys. But I still have yet to be anything except “Holy crap, this is the best thing ever” about something I love. I’m prone to exaggeration and extremes, and I’m sure that can be taxing on the people around me. More than one person has told me that I’ve ruined something for them because I loved it SO much, but the older I get, the more I realize how little that matters. It’s good to love things! Little instances of remembering why you love something are nice. For me, they’re necessary.
And seeing Sloan last month was exactly that. It had been over a year since the last time we saw them, and it was worth the wait. I danced and sang and was generally my embarrassing self. The shows were great, and they were nice little reminders that it’s pointless to mask enthusiasm. Let it out. Don’t feel pressured to become a more “chill” version of yourself.
Now go buy 12.