Wednesday, March 14

Curious Beast

Melodic. Soaring refrains. Even as the words fade, the humming draws circle eights around your heart. Folksy, disjointed prog-rock and lush crazy arrangements, as expected, but also disco guitars, rock riffs, and a duet with Laura Veirs.

There are stories, too. The Decemberists, particularly Colin Meloy, can't help but to weave words into tales cautionary, or Canterbury rusty lyric. But there is grace in the primitive telling---not nostalgia, but a studied stubbornness on eloquence.

The Crane Wife is a curious beast. There is both overwhelming emptiness and infectious childlike glee. A melancholy that is more an impression than a feeling. A smile that can't be contained when Meloy asks us to fill our moths with cinnamon now.

And it's the memory of the smile that makes you want to give this record a spin over and over again.


PAOLO CRUZ said...

Stumbled onto this blog via Geeks United. Pleased that I did!

I don't have the album sleeve/credits for The Crane Wife (being a cheap-ass who downloaded it off SoulSeek), so I had no idea that it's Laura Veirs on "Yankee Bayonet". I actually tried looking it up, at one point, and just presumed that it was Jenny Conlee. There's also a performance on YouTube where Neko Case sings Veirs' part, but I knew the voice sounded too different for it to be her, on the record. So I'm really glad you cleared that up.

It's cool, because I always thought "Parisian Dream" by Veirs would make a great Decemberists track. Always glad to have a petty observaion quasi-validated by fact.

Thor said...

Hi, Paolo! Thanks for dropping by!

Good call on the "Parisian Dream." Even the narrative has that Meloy feel to it. And thanks for leading me to the Decemberist/Neko Case video, I'm a huge fan of the New Pornographers. :-)

The band also has an iTunes-exclusive live EP. I'm sure it's floating around the torrent sites somewhere.