Week 246: “This Means Something” by Hiatus


Sometimes I really wish that North America had adopted the siesta tradition.

While many Mediterranean cultures shut business down for an hour or two in the afternoon, in North America we have a tendency to equate sleeping with laziness, relaxation with procrastination. And the working world seems to have a restraining order against sleep; there’s no bigger sin as an employee than “sleeping on the job”.

Even when we do allow ourselves a bit of daytime sleep, we use clever language to make ourselves feel like we’re not being lazy; a “siesta” is far too luxurious for us, but a “power nap”…hey, that sounds like it takes some work ethic. Might even be good for the economy.

Meanwhile, there are all kinds of biological benefits to an afternoon nap. It can make you less cranky, more productive, it might even improve your memory. (Although it should be noted that a suspicious amount of pro-siesta research comes from scientists working in countries where the siesta is a tradition.)

The music of Britain’s Hiatus has all the ingredients of premium nap music: he makes brief, floating instrumentals, filled with hypnotic samples, easy-going but with just a hint of energy. In short, it’s highly recommended for the next time you need to take a hiatus from the busy-ness of life.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The piano sample, from the musical “Rent”, is a never-resolving cadence that will lull you to sleep.

2. The drum sample, from a funk track by The Meters, is a frenetic, syncopated loop that will ensure you don’t fall into a deep sleep.

3. The sampled dialogue (from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) floats into the song like those half-formed dreams that only naps can provide.

Recommended listening activity:

Scheduling a “meeting” for tomorrow after lunch.

Buy it here.