By all accounts, I am not a morning person. According to my friends from high school, I wasn’t so much sleepy as I was just plain angry until around lunch period. In college, I was always eager to make breakfast plans with my roommates and then inevitably yelled at them when they woke me up the next day to follow through. Out of necessity, I have tried to get better at waking up earlier over the past several years, and while I’ve made strides with physically getting off my mattress at a reasonable time, I still haven’t mastered not being inconsolably mad about the whole thing. So, so mad.
Ultimately though — I assume around the same time lunch period still starts at my old high school — my dyspeptic reflex to being not-asleep recedes and basic regular-person faculties set in. The process is always sudden, even if super late in the game — everything immediately comes into tight focus, my joints stop feeling creaky, and my mouth is primed for making words.
When I first heard Nautic’s “Fresh Eyes,” I felt like it captured this midday transition if it occurred at a protracted, observable pace. Listening to the vocal layers emerge from the languorous wash of synth and saxophone is like seeing a pupil contract in half-speed or like stop-motion of a synapse firing right before a reflex. All these microscopic gestures that produce consciousness happen at such breakneck velocity that you couldn’t appreciate them if you wanted to. “Fresh Eyes” is the cleanest approximation I have heard in a while.
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