Arcade Fire- Porno

So let’s talk about pornography. Some see it as the shining trophy of a society built upon the Utopian bedrock of freedom and equality, the beacon of light guiding us to a future marked by the elimination of sexuality as taboo, the realization of the Freudian and Darwinian insights that the human struggle is nothing more than…

Slow March- Mutual Benefit

Yes I know, only 8 weeks in and I’m covering another Mutual Benefit song! It just so happens that Slow March is an almost perfect companion piece to last week’s Lying to You. So let’s dive right in: Won’t you say what you mean? Lately I’ve been staring cross-eyed just to see What it is…

Lying to You- Keaton Henson

Last week I discussed Daughter’s Candles, a spellbinding song that depicts an exploitative relationship—one based on sexual pleasure rather than true human connection. Keaton Henson’s Lying to You covers similar territory. Although this time the craving for human connection is curbed with a slightly different, but just as ineffective substitute. I can see in your eyes that you mean it…

Candles- Daughter

No songwriter can turn a fairy-tale love song into an examination of sexual exploitation like Elena Tonra of Daughter. Then again, Tonra grapples with themes in her songwriting that most artists would never even consider, let alone confront. Daughter’s freshman effort If You Leave (2013) explores these themes artfully- blending psychologically and existentially acute lyrics with…

Eugene- Sufjan Stevens

I cannot possibly heap too much praise on Sufjan Steven’s latest album, Carrie & Lowell. Nor can I fathom expressing how its constant companionship has affected me since its release. What I can do, is give you a bit of background. In Carrie & Lowell, named after Sufjan’s mother and stepfather, Sufjan highlights fragments of…

Take Me Old- Daudi Matsiko

A great man once quoted a great woman as saying “love is watching someone die”(Hint: I covered the man last week). The man then inquired “so who’s gonna watch you die?” Daudi Matsiko, a Ugandian singer-songwriter born and raised in the United Kingdom, is in effect asking this question in his song Take Me Old. And…

Grapevine Fires- Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie is one of my favorite bands and for good reason. Ben Gibbard, the group’s lead singer and songwriter, is bestowed with the rare gift of storytelling. In previous posts, I discussed Guy Garvey’s knack for poetic imagery and clever metaphors and Jordan Lee’s ability to sidestep clichés with simple yet skillfully…

Fire Escape- Mutual Benefit

    There’s no band I can think of whose output can be likened to Mutual’s Benefit’s brand of orchestral folk. Love’s Crushing Diamond (2013) and To Skip a Sinking Stone (2016) are both dazzlingly gorgeous albums, brimming with swelling strings, sliding keyboards, fireside guitars, and contemplative, somewhat transcendentalist lyrics. If any band knows how…

Starlings- Elbow

If you’ve never seen a cloud of starlings, stop reading this immediately and google “starling murmuration.” If you have, then you understand the eerie beauty of their seemingly coordinated yet sporadic patterns. A fitting image for the glorious emotional turbulence brought upon by love. Here are a few stanzas: At the top I’m stopping by…