Optimist

April 19, 2017 10:54 PM

Kind of a dirtier, dronier, shoutier version of this demo I did a while back.

I ended up bookending them on the album I did last year, called Lemonade.
Yeah, I know.

posted by chococat (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Oh man. This shimmers. Also, synchronicity: Kimothy and I were just talking yesterday about how we liked your stuff. So good.
posted by limeonaire at 6:24 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Thanks, limeonaire!
posted by chococat at 9:41 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


So! Good!
posted by mochapickle at 11:45 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


V radiohead, which is good. nice meaty production too.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:44 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Awesome! I definitely hear the Radiohead in here too.
posted by valrus at 9:58 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I'm getting a James Bond 007 theme song vibe from some of those chord changes. And that's a very good thing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:25 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Everyone should go buy this album, and really all of chococat's records! This song/album has been in my playlist since last summer, and helped get me through that especially tough period right after the election thing that happened in November.

chococat, I can't remember if I said this to you already but I'm happy that you released both versions of this song because they're each neat in their own ways. In some places this electric arrangement reminds me of some works from the Jayhawks, which IMO is another good thing.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:14 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Thanks so much for that, rangefinder 1.4.
posted by chococat at 6:50 PM on April 27


That's awesome!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:42 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Everyone should go buy this album

Most definitely. I've got all of chococat's albums. Truly fantastic stuff.

Nice variation on this tune.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:37 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Again, can't thank you all enough for the nice words.
I don't wanna say too much, because if you have to explain your song then it's a failure, and I also think it's awesome when people get things out of your songs that you didn't intend; but I feel a little bad and that I should be honest with you, because these lyrics initially came from a pretty dark place. A really sarcastic place. I wanted to use every cliché for "optimist" that I could think of, because it's SO not me. Like if you said to my wife or kids that I'm "just a glass half-full guy" they would laugh you out of town because I'm such a downer usually, and I always assume the worst possible outcome for any situation.
Which makes it all the more amazing to me that people have gotten positive things from the song. So I love that.
Sorry I'm such a bastard.
posted by chococat at 9:37 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


chococat - IMO that's one of the best things about this song and album -- that it feels genuine exactly because it is coming from a sarcastic, cynical dark place, and it feels like the art is in working through that darkness and still producing such a wonderful set of coherent music.

Not to get too personal here in your music feedback thread of all places, but I hope it's okay to say a little more about where I'm coming from. Back in Nov (and after) when I was trying to get my bearings and at some points didn't know which way was up from down, I was probably at my most cynical (still am a lot of days, so many days). For a long time I couldn't bring myself to listen to peppy, overly bright, cheerful songs about how everything was great and how life was good, because, it wasn't (and it's still challenging).

Your music -- and particularly this song, "Optimist" -- helped with my "fake it 'til you make it" mindset in getting through the especially tough spots, sarcasm included. Your music doesn't pull punches about where it's coming from, and the songs are also well written. The line "I always win / with the inclined position of my chin" is such a perfect combination of high sarcasm + great lyric; I think it's my favorite line in there. (I'm still amazed you wrote and recorded the album so quickly!)

In this case, I like that this electric arrangement of "Optimist" is grittier and louder, and that the closing track is still angry but in a different, more measured tone. I can tell you that when I was especially low and felt a lot of anger and cynicism and wasn't sure how to work through it without being destructive, I'd listen to these songs and sometimes sing along, which helped me digest the anger and understand it and deal with it. Sometimes it's the electric version, sometimes it's the closing version that is more in line with where my head is, or another song on the album or a different one of your albums.

So, not speaking for anyone except myself of course, but - at least on my account, please don't feel bad about anything. I love and have many many favorite cheerful and positive songs, but some of the most helpful songs in my life have been dark or sad or sarcastic or lonely ones, because they helped me get through difficult times; they made me feel like someone else out there had an idea of what it felt like to be going through those feelings, too. So, thank you for sharing these personal songs with us.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:48 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Heya, I used this on the podcast!
posted by cortex at 3:11 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Thanks cortex!
posted by chococat at 3:30 PM on May 11


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