when you never see the light it’s hard to know which one of us is caving

“Stay” x3

They escaped my attention at the time when first uploaded earlier this year, as I was preoccupied by the renovation of this and the other website, but by way of belated rectification here are three very moving versions of an already wrenching song, the duet by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko, “Stay,” performed by Tiago Braga, Ali Brustofski, and Jasmine Thompson, each of which I’ve added to their respective playlists.

Each of these three takes on both parts in the song, a conspicuous feature of their performances which multiplies the distress of the heart that “Stay” sings of, an inner turmoil intertwined so closely with this organ’s sheer feeling of still being alive as nearly to be inseparable from it; thus even more than between persons, it is within one’s heart itself that friction keeps passion heated, and a love without this inward strife or, to use a plainer word, hurt, would amount to no love at all: accordingly, it’s one of the virtues of these three renditions that in them the staying power of human hearts is itself personified and addressed, as though, at least for the time being, it were a participant in some conversation deep within oneself of which one can perhaps overhear something if one knows how to listen closely.

(Here, in parting, a remark about the arrangements in “Stay” may perhaps be in order: the regular repetition of the same chord or chords both heightens the tension in this song, indeed pushing it so far that one might find it difficult to bear, and yet also, and at the very same time, precisely because these repetitions constitute a musical structure so fixed in measure, affords some relief from it to those who are listening.)