Oddly good. That’s how I first described this song to a friend. You’ll understand.
Mau Kilauea’s remix of Wear Sunscreen starts off with some guy telling you to wear sunscreen. If you’re old enough, this will probably sound vaguely familiar – not as advice from your mom, but as part of a song by Baz Luhrmann in 1998 called, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).” Luhrmann had swiped the lyrics from a journalist named Mary Schmich, who had published a piece in the Chicago Tribune, intending to provide advice as if it were a commencement speech to graduating students. The song is simply spoken word – with Schmich’s entire column as the lyrics – set to a beat.
But what a beat!
This song draws you in. It’s at first strange, because it doesn’t seem like a song – the guy is just speaking rhythmically. But what he says is mesmerizing. We absorb it. We subconsciously try to internalize it. We want to live the way Schmich advises us to live. So we keep listening.
The sound the piece is set to, meanwhile, is uplifting and makes you want to dance in your living room (surprise! Also one of the life advice offered). It’s got Kygo’s or Thomas Jack’s tropical feel and reality’s grounding essence (the guy is talking to you, telling you, that you need to hold on to the compliments, let go of the insults, be kind to others, be kind to yourself).
It’s captivatingly funny and captivatingly real. It’s addicting. Take a listen and let Luhrmann’s words sink in — if you can.