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The more I think about music, the less I seem to understand the things about it that once required no thought at all. “Before You” caught me in a curious mood the first time I heard it, so much so that I picked up my guitar in a clumsy attempt at unravelling whatever secret harmonic equation lies at the other side of the equals sign when goosebumps are the sum. 

I figured out the chords Westover was playing, followed by the notes he was singing over them, and the answer felt too simple – like I’d just ruined the magic trick by pointing out the rabbit was in the hat all along.

The second time I listened to “Before You”, I was in a much less curious mood. I didn’t wonder why the chilly piano chords reminded me of sunny Florida winters, how the notes I’d just picked apart seemed to feel electrically charged, or who the private subject was of such a thoroughly public, starkly honest love-note. 

I enjoyed this one a lot better the second time around, and every time since.

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