Without "Enemy", what would I do?

I was in the car the other day, trying to think of what I wanted to listen to. After revisiting CHVRCHES’ “The Bones of What You Believe”, I found myself in the mood to dig out an old favorite.

I've been an Apple Music subscriber since the beginning, when it was mostly famous for deleting or not deleting your music files. (I never lost anything, but also would keep opening my phone to find The Love Club had vanished from its original album and now appeared on one featuring a giant duck inflatable. This didn't do anything to my original files, but… what.)

Anyway, my Apple Music Replay from 2015, 2016, and 2017 are abbreviated. There’s always supposed to be 100 songs in a Replay playlist. These… these are shorter.

You see, 2015 was the year Apple Music threw me a new release in my suggestions that I just fell right into. I played it over and over again for years. Even after I tapered off in 2017, it still made my top 100.

And then, suddenly, in 2020, it was gone.

Made In Heights was a collaboration between Sabzi and Kelsey Bulkin that culminated in that album that would not leave my head, "Without My Enemy What Would I Do".

The cover art for Made in Heights' "Without My Enemy What Would I Do".

I keep trying to write about what's great about this album but the simple reality is, I always listen to it beginning to end, I never skip a song, and I always bop through it. The intro from DEATH has taken up
permanent residence in my head rent-free—

Feel it rush like a hush in the attic (bae)
You could see me blush when I tell you all about it
In a moment hit the switch, then a moment in the dark
Then a moment so pervasive it was breaking us apart

From this introduction, the album rolls right on through, mood to mood—Silver Droplets in particular, between the sparse rhythms, instrumentation, and Kelsey's vocalwork, builds a space all its own—until the finale, Drexler, lands and takes the fuck right over.

It's poetic, it's rhythmic, it's smart, it's delightfully produced, Kelsey's voice is dreamy, Sabzi's beats are hypnotic… it is everything. I imagine I'll still be listening to it when the oceans boil away (so, next year?)

I don't really know what happened between Kelsey and Sabzi, but it seems something happened, and Made in Heights' catalog got yanked right out of my "library" (not actually a library, but a bunch of pointers to music that rightsholders currently permitted me to listen to.)

But the good news is that it's actually still out there. Like the above Reddit post says, when negotiations didn't work out, Sabzi put Made in Heights' work up on the then-website, free for all. I grabbed it as soon as I found out about it. The album art in this post is from that ZIP.

And now? I've got it streaming out of Apple Music again, with the caveat that it's streamable out of my own account. I've loaded it on my Mac and used Sync Library which makes it available, in turn, on all my other devices. And, of course, I'm carefully backing up and preserving the original files.

I don't know if I've convinced you to give it a spin, but I hope you will. Some of the official singles are still on YouTube. You probably can't go wrong with Murakami.

And then, if you find yourself curious, you should really seek out the entirety of Without My Enemy What Would I Do. I will never let it go again.

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