It’s late at night. You feel anxious, tired, depressed, and worn-down all at once. Perhaps you’ve turned to music when you feel this way. Maybe that music relaxes you, makes you momentarily forget all your problems. Maybe it helps you embrace the moment, even if it makes it more painful.
“Fnyc” by Kelly McFarling perfectly capturers all these scattered emotions in one beautiful song. While it’s clearly a personal story that McFarling is telling, it’s not hard to hear parallels to one’s own feelings of stress, frustration, and longing. Or of the pep talks others give you and that you give yourself when you’re unsure you’ve taken the right path.
McFarling’s whole album Distractible Child touches on something raw and sentimental at the same time, whether it’s fondly remembering her hometown of Atlanta and childhood friendships or the struggles of starting fresh in a new place and feeling the nostalgia and pain of a relationship that’s no more.
I haven’t even mentioned yet that McFarling plays the banjo, an instrument that many would associate with old-timey bluegrass. Well, after hearing McFarling sing, “soulful” and “intimate” will also come to mind.
Simply quoting lyrics won’t do the music justice, you really just have to listen…
And I’m riding this wave and it never stops,
And it’s making me sick, but I’m not ready to get off.
And everybody tells me, I gotta cut myself some slack,
It’s time live your life now, and take a risk now and don’t look back.
You gotta keep it simple and keep it straight, and keep moving forward,
And things’ll turn out great.
And if this was a mistake, god I wish I’d learned from yours.
I don’t recognize these windows, don’t know what’s behind the doors.
And fuck New York City, somehow it’s everywhere I turn,
And in my sleep it’s like a fever, I wake up sad and sore and burned.
But I can keep it simple, and keep it straight and keep moving forward,
And things’ll turn out great, they’re gonna turn out great.