Sunday, October 05, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

Frightened Rabbit, "Square Nine"* (Live from Daytrotter)

I am totally in love with the drumming at the end of this song. Frenetic doesn't begin to describe it. Barely hinged? Threatening to beat the surface of the earth until nothing's left but the hard stone underneath the dirt? I'm quite enamored with the guitar, also: It rips through whatever is in its way, leaving no molecule of air unshredded. The bass supports the song with a steady rumble, less noticed by the ear, but integral to the integrity. The singer toils, his voice both soaring and wretching, struggling to articulate the stages of a relationship: "Like square one where we fell in square two, that's not me and you...square five, we were only half alive." As he says, "stages are just stages for us to pass". Living those stages is what we all must do; giving a voice to those stages is what music was made for.

*This is a bit of an older song, but they have songs from their newer album, Midnight Organ Fight, on the Daytrotter page, too.

Label Site (Their website is under construction)

The members of Frightened Rabbit look up towards their mentor for guidance.

Brightblack Morning Light, "Oppressions Each"

This is one soulful song. The piano is rhythmic and jazz-inspired. The music is infused with a smoky, opaqueness harkening back to the deliberate haze of the speakeasies--a cloudiness that served to disorient and confuse unknowns who happened to wander in. If you're not open to what they're saying, you'll walk away thinking this is just a nice, smooth neo-jazz song. Listen carefully, though--let your mind wander through the obfuscation-- and you'll find a message. As the title suggests, the song is about the oppression running rampant throughout our lives. "No one wants oppression, no one needs oppression", but as the singer sings, "You can't tell me you're free". Perhaps if we start paying attention, and try to see beyond the haze, we'll be able to live by our guidelines, and not someone else's.


The members of Brightblack Morning Light eat food made of rainbows. Nice. (Photo by Magic Andy McLeod)

Colour Revolt, "Moses of the South" (Live from Daytrotter)

If the spirit of Arcade Fire had an equivalent down here in the south, I'd say it was definitely Colour Revolt. This song may not be accompanied with a thousand instruments and as many vocals, but I hear a similar wroughtness and plaintiveness to the singer's delivery. I also hear a glee in the performance usually reserved for a huge collective such as Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene. Lyrically, I haven't heard sentences as strangely and cleverly constructed since I first heard AF's Funeral. The lyrics to "Moses of the South" are awesome and confounding: "Pure and fearful children flee north at the sound of the kings horn". What a picture that brings up! "Cause prophets here linger in lightening, they're giddy and livid in love". I want to live in this vivid town. I want to be "weeping and laughing with pleasure, biding [my] happy time, cause the sky one day must eat the earth". Even dismay is "beautiful" and "wondered". What do I have to do to paint my life with these words? I just have to lie back, close my eyes and imagine this scene? Alright, sounds like a good deal.

Website (Site doesn't come up for me. Is it just me?)
Check their band page on their label's site for the best band bio ever.

Colour Revolt revolt against all colours that are not orange, black or green. (Photo by Jitin Chatlani)

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