As you get older, going back to the place you grew up starts to become a contradiction. It’s still the safest of safe havens but it’s also this remote place that feels separate from everything else; a place much smaller than all the things your life now contains, that almost seems to have existed solely to ground you in preparation for all that world out there. A trip home always manages to elegantly toe that line of joy in the familiar and sadness with all that’s changed. Either way, it’s got something on every other place in existence. This inseparable relationship with your hometown is what The National’s “Bloodbuzz Ohio” is about.
There’s a density to the imaginary term bloodbuzz, the idea of that overwhelming, almost drunk feeling when you get a moment to yourself in your old room, or walk down a familiar block and wonder what people you grew up with are doing, or if the kids coming of age now are having the same kind of childhood you did – the buzz from a place of family and where you come from, with a real sense of personal history around you. In some ways, it’s kind of like seeing your oldest friend.
Oh Land‘s cover is not the homegrown National version, and lines like “Ohio don’t remember me” aren’t relevant, but the sentiment is there. There’s an adrenaline, a full-body rush of a bikeride to Berninger’s original while the Danish singer slows it down for a more heady, sparsely intoxicating take. It floats in all the places the original stays grounded – add this one to the holiday mix. Check out both the cover and the original below.