My Top 1000 Songs #243: Out There

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

A surprisingly despairing yet musically cheerful little indie anthem, off the Blake Babies' 1990 LP Sunburn, this is one of those songs that's permanently associated with a specific time in my life, but rises above mere nostalgia for me.

Back in law school, without a cohort of like-minded indie music friends I had back at the college radio station, my musical discoveries were a little more haphazard. Maybe I'd hear something late Sunday night while watching MTV's 120 Minutes, or read something in CMJ, or just see something at the record store that looked interesting. And I don't remember how I first came across this album, but I was immediately drawn to this song in particular. It's got a relentlessly infectious chorus, a chiming guitar sound, and Juliana Hatfield's vocals were both vulnerable and bold.

And the lyrics, frustrated and resigned but with tinges of optimism, really dug in deep. "There's nothin' to do, it's so hard to talk to you, and people never do what they want to. I don't know what and I don't know where, but I know it's out there. It must be out there, somewhere." 

It was one of those tracks I included on every mixtape back in law school and for years afterward, an encapsulation of the era. It also kicked off a life-long (musical) crush on Hatfield, but every time I spin up something from her broad, varied discography, I end up circling back to this track to re-experience that moment of discovery.

2016 Blake Babies reunion performance: