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“Watching From a Distance” by David Ramirez

-Parker Donovan, Roots N Blues Intern

There’s no getting around it: there will be times throughout our life when we are reminded of a universal truth, life can be relentless. Sometimes we undergo a deep deconstruction of our entire beings. Heartbreak, something everyone will go through at some point, perfectly exhibits this universal truth; thank God we have music to cope.

People use music to get themselves through everything. We listen to music to deal with major life changes — heartbreak, the loss of a job, death of loved ones and other major life traumas. But we also use music to cope with significantly less traumatic things, such as being cut off right before your exit, failing an exam, watching your favorite Game of Thrones character get killed off and other irritations that contribute to your already bad day. Despite it all, our true ride or die, music, gets us through it all.

One song in particular that has been truly serving its soothing purpose is “Watching From a Distance,” a tune off of David Ramirez’s upcoming political fourth album, We’re Not Going Anywhere. It picks up long after the typical relationship mourning season has ended. In “Watching From a Distance,” Ramirez is exploring the familiar inability to be able to fully process, cope and move on from heartbreak. In an interview with Rock Shot Magazine, Ramirez frames the song for us: “Most times, when a relationship ends, there is a season of mourning but then the clouds part, the sun rises, and we move on. What happens if and when the sun doesn’t rise? What happens if, no matter how hard we try, we can’t move on?”

Ramirez’s abruptly cuts in over the hopeful beat of the drums, his voice soaked in a nostalgic yearning, “Don’t you dare think that I don’t think about you/just cause we can’t speak doesn’t mean you’re not on my mind.” Ramirez knows that his ex constantly taking up space in his mind is unhealthy, but he can’t help it. His ex paints him as “a liar and a fool,” they no longer speak, and a considerable amount of time, the supposed healer of all wound, has passed. But here Ramirez is, still “Watching From a Distance,” unable to move on. Thankfully for us, Ramirez has used this post-breakup angst in a creative and therapeutic way, helping us, and hopefully Ramirez himself, cope with the harsh realities of life.

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