Speakers Push Air

Selling It Short…
December 29, 2009, 11:50 pm
Filed under: 2009 Top 20

I think I’ve had some kind of failure of nerve when it comes to writing about music. It’s more factual, more drily descriptive rather than expressive. Having worked this out, I haven’t yet got to grips with why. I often think it’s because the standard of writing on most of the blogs I follow is so much higher.

Take the Hawley post below. That album has really really touched me this year, but you wouldn’t know it to read the entry. There’s lot of guff about instrumentation and the like, but nothing about how it makes me wish I drank whisky (Truelove’s Gutter is the most “whisky” album I’ve heard in a long time). There’s a vague reference to some unspecified mood, whereas in reality I know exactly what the mood of most of the album is, or rather how it feels to me: an after-midnight weariness, a sense of chemically depleted nostalgia, the moment just before you give up the ghost and finally go to bed and try and try and stop the doubts and regrets circling. (The rest of the album is about love, but not in an explosive, “fallen in love” way – this love is battered and bruised but all the more powerful for it).

It’s a beautiful, beautiful album and it’s experimental, in its own small way. It bears the same relation to some kind of easy listening 5os category as Earth does to metal: the base materials are the same, but it’s extended to an almost absurd degree (without ever trying to be “epic” in the cheesiest sense of the word). Look at Remorse Code, which is posted below: it’s nearly 10 minutes long, 1o minutes of very little happening that manages to get right under my skin.

So, yeh.. erm. I might not be as up to the task of selling these albums to you as perhaps I used to be, but that’s my fault, not the music. The Hawley album is a remarkable thing and it deserves your time.

I will give up these cigarettes
Stay at home and watch you mend the tears in your dress
Have your name in a rose tattooed across my chest
And be your lover for all time

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