“jungle drum” – emilíana torrini (2008)


Musical earworms can be touchy subject for those who appreciate music. For some people, it is the worst songs that get stuck in their head. They could just be going through their day running errands and then BAM! That song from that commercial they saw last week or, worse, LMFAO is stuck in their head. The problem is that there is no way to get it out. Each irritating note just has to run its course as the song turns your brain into Swiss cheese.

Earworms don’t bother me much. I like a lot of really good music, so I’m comfortable with myself when something terrible takes up residence in my mind for a few hours (or days). Though these types of things don’t irk me the way they do others, I do relish in the moments when said earworm is actually really enjoyable.

For some strange reason, Emilíana Torrini’s 2008 album Me and Armini was below my radar upon it’s release. When the album was released, I was at the tail end of my sophomore year of college and incredibly active in college radio. I have no memory of this album being put into rotation. It certainly may have but if it was, it was probably in light rotation as opposed to heavy where it certainly belonged. I hope the music director at the time had a good explanation for why they didn’t push this album harder.

I heard the single “Jungle Drum” after graduating college in 2010. I cannot remember in what context I first heard the song, but it has stuck with me ever since randomly entering into my consciousness throughout the years. How fitting is that? With most of my musical earworms, I never really remember where I first encounter them. They just sort of appear out of nowhere. They’re so sneaky!

“Jungle Drum” makes for an excellent earworm because it is irresistibly catchy. A briskly-paced backing track featuring a bouncy bass and subtle snare drum set the tone for the song. It makes the feet start tapping and before you know it, you’re in full room dancing mode by the first chorus driven by Torrini’s percussive vocals. “Jungle Drum” wastes no time once the track starts. Torrini is on a mission with this song.

Musical earworms can certainly create a mood within the mind of the listener. Earworms are typically characterized as being really annoying and drive people to complain. I get that, but I don’t find much use in complaining about it. Then again, if we had more songs like “Jungle Drum,” I doubt I would be annoyed when a musical earworm roots itself in my head. I would rather dance through my day then bash my skull in any time.