15.10.07

everything ever


(Please note, none of this is terribly insightful; it has been said better in many different places and forms - songs, for instance.)


Firing connections...

When I interviewed Mike Lindsay, co-founder of Tunng, about the band's new album Good Arrows, I asked him about the idea of anomie and inclusion that seems to pervade the record, signalled by the endless things crashing together on the album cover and in song titles (all one word word; String, Hands, Spoons, and so on).
It’s very much about humanity, and this life and what you can take from it ... it's about enjoying the everyday little things, which you kind of overlook, and I think that's what the artwork and the titles of the songs are about - the single, very small objects or things that when you put them together can kind of make something a little bit more beautiful or full.

This reminded me of watching Melbourne band Deloris around the beginning of this year when they launched Ten Lives. Frontman Marcus Teague is a person so full of ideas that they overflow into the surreal banter inbetween songs. In little narratives he paraphrases the songs about to be played and what they're about, bringing up these amazing, apparently spontaneous connections between things.

Deloris and Tunng both offer us a different way of looking at the explosion of 'things' in our everyday lives, the totality of objects, as other than overwhelming or trivial (objects of a exponentially increasing consumer society). It's something akin to animism, but maybe it's even plainer than that - it's simply about learning to invest things with meaning, and to understand that 'everything' is significant and joyous, rather than monolithic or oppressive.

Of course, the way in which each band works through this idea differs. Tunng seem to offer a sort 'the whole is greater than the sum' idea, whereas Deloris reach for a kind of 'Everything Ever' (the title of a song) sameness. And that's not a bland, debilitating sameness either. In fact, when sameness is stigmata and escalating difference is chief production of late capitalism, it seems to me that these forms of inclusiveness are redemptive and social, in the most banal and meaningful sense of that word.

Amongst other things, Good Arrows works through modern life's ability to fragment us, and our communal attempts (they're lyrical address is always a 'we') at putting ourselves and things back together. It's not unequivocally positive, to be sure, but then that would be idealistic. Tunng are more concerned with surfacing, not so much optimism.

Deloris span landscapes, histories, generations, and establish connections everywhere. Emmy Hennings mentioned how the circular form of Teague's writing sort of embodies this:
He's one of those fairly unusual writers who, particularly in his solo output, likes to write lyrics than resemble a very long string - lines run into and over each other and the volume of words always threatens to spill over, to erupt - into what I'm not sure. Outside the boundaries of the song?

And Deloris use the inclusive address, too. Says Teague:
Just thinking about the 'we' point of view on Woah Oh - the idea, this is going to sound really pompous but, the idea is that you can transcend your own time. In my brain, each verse was addressing a kind of thing that exists, like wood, or smoke, or rock or something like that and then seeing how that has existed in the past, referencing that, referencing how it exists now and how it could exist in the future.

The overflowing beauty of the world itself, the world we (will) live(d) in.


Deloris – Woah Oh

Tunng - Bullets

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