Whenever I am upset about anything, Holly Near's music makes me feel better. This makes me laugh, because Holly Near is an activist. Her music is truly beautiful, and she has an amazing voice, but songs like "No More Genocide" (about, shockingly, genocide) or "It Could Have Been Me" (About the Kent state shootings) aren't really what one thinks of when one thinks of comfort music. I, however, am from Cambridge.
This means that I have hippie parents. And that I grew up eating organic peanut butter (yes, I really did) and going to protests and listening to activist music. My oldest musical memory is listening to Nicolia ("Nicolia girl, worked inside a factory/Never saw the sun, never saw the summer sea . . . Dreamed one day she'd meet a prince/but she's been real disappointed since . . . One day she read a book called Organize/And she understood every word, to her surprise") on the record player in the living room with my dad. I was probably three or four.
For me, listening to Holly Near feels the same as curling up on the couch under a big blanket with a mug of hot chocolate. Her music just makes me feel better. And lately, for whatever reason, I've needed a lot of comforting. So I've been listening to a lot of Holly Near. And for whatever reason, I feel better.