Melvv’s “Blank” Provides the Sound to Ponder Life’s More Complicated Questions

How can we continue to care when desensitizing ourselves seems easier?

Melvv

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

This week: “Blank” by Melvv (Atlantic Recording, 2019)

Why we’re into it: A track for those days when you accept that life sometimes is so overwhelming, the best you can do is just feel…nothing. 

Melvv has long distinguished himself by creating the kind of tracks that stand out from those by similar artists.The electro-bops from “Heatwave,” “Babe,” and “Lifeline” all have stood the test of time. But “Blank” feels like a deeper dive into the artist’s psyche, making this his best piece of work to date.

The pleading vocal feature on the track, belonging to Kennedi, provide emotional depth and clarity that Melvv has not fully explored in the past. “I’m drawing a blank/How did it feel to be feeling something?/I’m drawing a blank.” She sounds full of anguish, while Melvv’s undercurrent of pulses and production techniques underscore the sense she lost in a state of questioning herself. And yet, the result is an oddly buoyant track with dark undertones. An especially striking, moment of self-realization, comes at the beginning of the chorus: “Well/Oops I don’t think I do why/Do I do what I do.” Sometimes, isn’t ignorance really bliss? 

There’s a real darkness in the realization of the emptiness that lurks within each of us. Terrifying? Yes. But essentially, it’s also what makes us human. It’s the ability to combat the blankness and feel emotion, care for others, and realize there’s more to give to the world than our own petty hangups. Many of us have asked ourselves, how do we continue to care when there’s nothing inside driving us to do so? A possible answer can be found is the emotional solidarity from bits of art that prove we aren’t alone. While we continue to ponder over life’s eternal questions, “Blank” joins us and provides some tunes to ease the way.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate