Hearing in paired: Brandy

Some people feel and taste colors. Other people associate feelings with sounds. Me? Well, I drink in music. In this blog series, I pour myself a glass and pair 10 sips to 10 songs. Today, I’m drinking brandy and it tastes like loungey tracks set to sexy, soulful vocals.

Alexander. Brandy Alexander.

Brandy is to cognac as Brandy is to Moesha.

These are the ridiculous thoughts that happen while I imbibe the traditional digestif. And in case you’re wondering that analogy is not quite right.

Of course, brandy and cognac are essentially the same, as they both are distilled from wine. The difference is that cognac is a type of brandy that is made in a town in France that bears the same name. And if you watched the UPN in the late nineties, then you watched Brandy, the singer, play the lead character named Moesha, which was also the name of the show.

Cognac and brandy have gained something of a global following, not so much for its deliciousness, but for its association with hip-hop. Who knew Hennessey and Courvoisier were so rhyme-able?

As for me, I’m not popping brandy bottles per se, but I enjoy a nice Brandy Alexander after a good meal (see photo). If you’ve never tried this drink, I highly suggest it. It’s like an adult milkshake made with cognac and crème de cacao. However, for the scientific purposes of this blog series, I ordered a Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac neat, so I could really taste the stuff. Then, I paired my first ten sips to ten songs that aptly captured the harem of flavors happening in my mouth.

Sip 1 – I Got U by Duke Dumont As a disclaimer, I should share that I was already in a particularly good mood when I began my 10 sips. Perhaps it was because I had enjoyed a delicious dinner right before this sip happened. Or, perhaps, it was because I felt like a fancy giant drinking out of a snifter. Whatever the reason, joy is the way to describe my first sip, which is the same way I would describe this song. I’d like to imagine it’s Whitney’s voice singing from heaven, sober and happy. Well, not totally sober. Maybe she can manage to have a little Henney and not go overboard. The chorus repeats the key phrase, “as long as I got you,” which I too found myself chanting into the glass.

Sip 2 – Paradise Awaits by Zhu On my second sip, I remembered that Saturday Night Live skit starring Tim Meadows, who wore a silk robe and spoke with a lisp as he hosted the “Ladies Man” talk show from his living room. The real star, of course, was the Courvoisier he swirled around. The lyrics of this song could’ve been the monologue for Meadows, “I need to be your lover/You need to be my queen/Kiss me in my dreams/And tell me paradise is what we see.”

Sip 3 – Rhythm Santa Clara by Classixx This little indie dance track has the perfect beat to slightly nod your head. Something I found myself doing quite a bit after my third sip.

Sip 4 – Radiation Ruling the Nation (Protection) by Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor Only the fourth sip and I was experiencing some slight slurring, like the hi-hat on this track. Luckily my dinner date thought it was endearing.

Sip 5 – Avisado by DJ Frappo By the fifth sip, my slight lisp took a turn for full slur making a word as simple as New Jersey sound like I was suddenly trying to communicate in Portuguese. Appropriately, I’ve matched a lovely Brazilian samba for this sip.

Sip 6 – Finally Moving by Pretty Lights “Oh, I get a good feeling,” midway through my lovely glass of golden goodness. It was at this moment when I made it to the pinnacle of sexiness and there was no stopping my creeper face.

Sip 7 – Roads (Sultan and Tonedepth Remix) by Portishead The intro beat to this amazing remix is just about the same as my heart beat on the seventh sip. I had an unbearable urge to jump over the table and middle-school-make-out with my date. Normally, I would keep these thoughts to myself, but the want – just like the beat – was relentless. I blurted out “Let’s French,” which was met by one raised eyebrow that came up over the rim of her glasses. This was code for “One more outburst and you’re going to blow it.”

Sip 8 – Changes by Faul & Wad Ad I was nearing the end of my drink, yet the flavors were just as potent as they were on the first sip, maybe even stronger. Like a saxophone playing over a children’s church choir, this didn’t make sense to me.

Sip 9 – The Mambo Craze by De-Phazz The next-to-last sip was glorious. I made a particularly funny joke, which I felt redeemed my prior outburst. The muted trumpet of this song captures the understated victory dance that was going on in my mind.

Sip 10 – Last Tango in Paris by Gotan Project The last sip and I never felt classier. Or more drunk. Especially, when I asked for the “Sheck.” We sort of tangoed out of the restaurant in the way that she was holding my waist as my legs swirled and swayed every which way.

Below is a full list of the 10 songs for my 10 sips:

Click if you missed my music parings for whiskeygin, vodkabeer, tequila, and/or wine.

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work (marianeladearmas.com) and travel (alittlecubangoesalongway.com) and sometimes do both.

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