When I was a teenager I dated a boy who put his pillow in the freezer so we could stay cool when we snuck into his bed in the California summer. In the beginning of college, a guy who spent his spare time tightrope walking and hanging with his dad’s pets. After him, one with a shadow mustache who’d lean against his junked-up soil-brown car and smoke a cigarette in plain view of my parents, which, honestly, still “gets” me. A guy who projected PBS’s live reenactment documentary about the Carter Family across the entire face of a ten-story building. A sweet man, now, who prowls like a wolf and sleeps like a caterpillar. There are through-lines in my romances, but they’re mostly wildly different from each other. Even my woozy nervy feeling morphs. Lately, I’ve been feeling it big enough to make a mix that sounds the thick of it.
Falling for someone is disorienting and inexplicable and all kinds of stupid. I thought it might be nice to settle into the middle of the summer with a mix to capture the strangeness of the whole big thing, just around when the heat gets thick enough to go to your head. From the freaky country, folk, and pop guys who I’m really stuck on lately—Arthur Miller’s pet project, Kingdom Come, Harry Nilsson, Gene Clark, Scott Walker—to Big Heavies Dara Puspita, Wanda Jackson, and Bo Diddly, through some very weird old-time drawls and into Ukulele Ike (née Cliff Edwards)’s floaty, romantic “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” Strange Love is meant, tall order!, to sound the way that the start of something feels. Here’s hoping ~