Five Songs For The Week, December 10th 2018
Lord Huron – ‘Wait by the River’: I have always liked Ben Schneider’s great sense of cinematic, and this song, off his last album ‘Vide Noir’ is no exception. The nostalgic tune brings in mind slow dances with vintage colors wrapped by warmth vocals and an almost doo-wop tone reshaped by indie guitars. There is a pure wave of fresh air coming from the song, or the river, with a touch of magic in the air and overdramatic lyrics: ‘If we can’t be together/I will leave this world behind/If I can’t touch your body/Can I touch the sky?’ with nature sounds always injected in the melodies, there’s a large part of mystery in the bucolic music of Lord Huron, a band I have followed since their beginning in 2010.
Grandaddy – ‘Bison on the Plains’: A very melodramatic Grandaddy song and a brand new one, which was just released a few days ago. With heartbreaking slow melodies, Jason Lytle has always had a very peculiar way to pronounce his lyrics, with ultra vulnerable vocals coming from below his signature truck hat. This song is no different, dreamy to the core, evaporating into space, with floating beats, sound samples, and UFO synths shaping up loneliness like nobody else. The song actually didn’t make the cut for ‘Last Place’, Grandaddy’s last album which was released last year.
Thom Yorke – ‘Suspirium’: Composed for Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the 1970s cult horror film ‘Suspiria’, this is another haunting winter piano ballad with Thom’s high falsetto. We have been there before, but it’s a really pretty one, an aerial ballet with piano notes spinning and drifting, both mournful and hopeful. There’s a richness in this unique cascade of notes and pure desolation which may announces something terrible or not, although Director Luca Guadagnino has actually said that Yorke had already written the song before the making of the movie.
Grizzly Bear – ‘Mourning Sound’: It’s a nonchalant and intriguing one, a track coming off the band’s LP ‘Painted Ruins’. Led by Edward Droste’s detached vocals, whose highs reminds me of David Byrne, the song is beaten up by plenty of unnerving pulses, before venturing into synth weirdness with a discordant and dense mix. The critically-acclaimed album was released last year after a relatively long absence of 5 years, but the band has been active since 2002 and it’s a shame I haven’t paid too much attention to them over the years.
The Glands – ‘So High’: The song simultaneously brings to mind something from Lennon, the Kinks and Built to Spill with a strange sweetness and interesting twisted guitars. The indie rock band from Athens, Georgia lost its singer Ross Shapiro, who died in 2016, but this song comes from a 2018 release, ‘Double Coda’ which gathers two decades worth of Shapiro’s recordings.