The Hollies “The Air That I Breathe”

Why has the 1964 hit “The Air That I Breathe,” by the band The Hollies, suddenly started climbing its way up itunes downloads charts again? Well, in 2021 it seems that there are only two real ways of that happening: tiktok and Netflix. With TV dead and the internet reigning supreme, young people might not have purchasing power but they have the ability to mobilize in numbers never seen before. Tiktok has been the source of pop hits throughout 2020 and there is no sign of that changing soon. While Netflix is less powerful for music promotion, a good series with a killer soundtrack is sure to boost the sales of the artists in question, even if the track was released over half a century ago.

This time, the series in question is Firefly Lane a show about two girls who live on the eponymous road and share a friendship that lasts for thirty years. There are ups and downs, secrets, betrayals and the twin triggers of love and pain that tie the story together. With the series having been up for enough time now for many watchers to have finished, “The Air That I Breathe” has emerged as an emblematic soundtrack to their experience. Without having seen Firefly Lane, we can assume that it marks the accompanying song to an emotional climax, or a cathartic resolution.

It is the track’s chorus that gives it power. The Hollies, a British group who looked like the Beatles but never quite sounded like them, were adept at ecstatic pop chorus that the whole family could get down to. Amazingly, they never disbanded and have remained active until today, much like the Rolling Stones. Comment sections are full of references to the series, of course, and it is great to see new generations engaging with music they might never have found otherwise.

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