26.5.10

but then i find, just the right thing

Music always meets us at a certain time in our lives, and sometimes it's the perfect time. There was a time when I needed Children of the Wave's Carapace, when I needed Wilderness, and lately Noah Symons' Great Earthquake has just found me and lifted me right where I needed to be. It's not like I'm some narcissist when it comes to everything I listen to (though I wonder who isn't to some degree), but that certain kinds of chance encounters between one's mood and the music one finds to listen to at a particular time are often the times when I get most out of my relationship to it.

Great Earthquake's Drawings is an album of a similarly nocturnal, restrained and mainly 'instrumental' mood to the music I mentioned above, and it's resonated perfectly with my current feelings of ambiguity, of quiet solitude and a small, almost comfortable melancholy - a word I've always associated with a kind of happy sadness, a sadness that is never quite grief, or a happiness tinged by the realisation of what it lacks. Drawings is the perfect music for my current time of coming and going, of beginnings and endings, and it helps me feel my way - not think - through the things I'm currently going through. It illuminates - that is, throws a light on - my situation, my feelings, and for that I'm eternally grateful. In its cyclical drum patterns I find a kind of resigned drive, in its piano accordion that very bittersweetness that so grips me, in its plaintive guitar a plaintive state. It's that kind of later, quieter post-rock that isn't quite post-rock that I've always been drawn to, felt emotionally nourished by - a post-rock with far more heart and sense of wonderment than the serpentine and po-faced technicality the genre often descended into. Recalling expatriates Because of Ghosts in its evocation of the very slim distinctions between hope and sadness, a song like opener ‘Clap Clap’ has that very Australian sense of tone that always rests in melancholy. It's where I rest my head tonight.

2 riffs:

Harriet Gregory said...

Beautifully expressed, Lawson.

Andrew Connor? said...

I, for one, would really like a more elaborated discussion of this "very Australian sense of tone", if/when you have the time/inclination.

For what it's worth, I also find that I often tactically-retreat to instrumental music to deal with the most intense feelings. Words can only do so much, yada yada yada. A number of the best mixtapes I've ever made have been strictly instrumental, too ~ I think it had something to do with the interpretative freedom afforded by the near-total disjunction between 'notes' to 'thoughts'. Instrumental music, like the dao, shapes itself around you if you just let it. The power is in the emptiness, in the it's-already-yours.

I think the PLE could be an instrument band very, very easily.