The Sunday Chew #3

Hello lovely subscribers,

I seem to always want to start The Sunday Chew off with some very meta introspection, and today is no different.

As I am currently writing this at 11.19pm, I find myself thinking about those of you who I know are in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. It’s already Monday for you, so I’m pondering the point of a “Sunday” digest, and questioning why I titled it that.

Well, I suppose the point of this bonus digest is to share with you one big thought I’m having. Not as curated or well formed as The Seven, but more raw… ideas in progress. And as the deadline keeps me accountable, you find yourselves emailed a copy of whatever is going through my head on a Sunday. Whatever I’m chewing on, you could say ;)

I think it’s nice though, as it’s a much more intimate space than the larger mailing list, and I feel like we are having a conversation (even though I’m still whispering into the digital void). I hope you enjoy these. And as always, I’d love for you to hit reply and send some of your own thoughts right back.

Tonight I’m thinking about music that is meaningful to me. Specifically, I want to share with you a song I love: Hunnybee, by Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO).

I first came across UMO when I was nineteen, at a music festival in the Southwest of Australia, where I grew up. My best friend Nicole and I were really keen to see another band later on (though for the life of me I can't remember who) and we were planning on camping out in front of the stage for the less-popular sets beforehand so we would remain in prime position.

That exercise had us front and centre for one of the most incredible shows of my life. It was 2011, and UMO was on tour to promote their eponymous first album. The passion and skill of every single musician was electrifying, and the entire space became filled with a magnetic energy. During their set all kinds of other artists (some very famous) heard the chords and came from their private lounge areas to stand backstage and watch them jamming. They were nodding and appreciating the total bliss and instrumental mastery, just like we were. We could only see the others watching because we were right at the front, and I felt like we were in on some magical secret. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

The second and last time I saw them, I was many months pregnant and miserable, but Alex found out they were playing in Atlanta and got us tickets. I was in pain and was just sitting down uncomfortably the whole time, but loved hearing their later music, including Hunnybee, live. It was just as magical, but in a new way. That was the final live show I saw before giving birth, and before the pandemic, which has cemented how important they are in my personal cultural lexicon.

I used to think the video for this song was a bit boring. Watching it now, in a travel-free pandemic-ridden world, I can’t help but think it’s just perfect. I want to experience a simple moment like this, one of these ones that I used to take so completely for granted. The video offers a vicarious escape.

Join me, and imagine for a few minutes that we are somewhere else. Sitting in this train window, watching the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand pass by, with a book in our hands and this song playing in our earphones… what could be better than that?

I hope you love the song as much as I do, and I also hope you check out the rest of their music. It’s special.

Sending you love and happy vibes!