I have butterflies. Wonderful lilac and periwinkle and rosy butterflies flutter in circles around my heart, waking me from my dark dreams, dragging me into the sunlight, dancing me into summer.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt love within a song. I’ve only been listening to melancholy music. Angrier guitar riffs, sad lyrics. It seems that my teenage angst has lingered into my twenties. And in the past few weeks, as I’ve felt immense uncertainty and confusion, these songs linger still. But there comes a point in the confusion and anger and frustration when I need to be lifted up. Music helps me feel and contextualize my feelings, but it also wakes me from my slumber. And that is what “touch tank” by quinnie does. It sends serotonin and smiles through my veins.
Released as a single on July 1st of this year, quinnie brings summer into this alt-pop track with faded vocals, a warm acoustic guitar, and swimming metaphors.
Beginning with the sound, the first verse reminisces on old-timey movie projector audio, where the sound comes out muffled and light and romantic. The chorus picks up the guitar and quinnie’s vocals more clearly, but the tone is still light and bright, making it the perfect song for the beach or the pool or any body of water really. Verse two brings in percussion and more echoing vocals, giving the aural experience of being under or near water.
It would be very unlike me to fall in love with a song that doesn’t have beautiful, relatable lyrics. This song is no exception to that. Detailed descriptions like: “gold-skinned, eager baby, blue shirt out the laundry” in the chorus that bring the listeners attention to the object of quinnie’s desire. And again in verse two with: “to you, deep sea pearl, my soft manta ray.” It’s these minute details that could only be noted by a poet, and a poet in love at that.
My favorite lyric comes in the bridge as quinnie sings, “you took my breath away, so now I can’t suck in my stomach around you anymore.” To me, this is the ultimate sign of comfortability within a relationship. You suck in your stomach so no one has to see who you really are, what you may really look like, but when someone takes your breath away like that (figuratively, of course), you don’t even get the chance to overthink. You just are who you are and, miraculously, it isn’t more complicated than that.
“Touch tank” is also a song so openly about female pleasure and the female enjoyment of said pleasure. The chorus begins with, “he’s so pretty when he goes down on me.” Another verse two includes, “two tender fingers to touch the display” (this imagery is mirrored in the music video). I think it’s rare to find a song that is just so simply about a woman enjoying herself. She’s falling in love, but it doesn’t come across as overly romantic or dramatic. It’s the simplicity of the little things quinnie notes throughout the lyrics that makes her song genuine. That make love seem genuine and not overly complicated.
It’s just one of the prettiest and loveliest songs I’ve heard in a while. The line “We’re too old to live with our parents; Do you wanna wake up to me every morning?” is so simple, and by no means original, yet quinnie transforms that simplicity into the only thing I desire. And I cannot stop singing it; it plays on repeat in my head at all hours of sunshine.
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