Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lyrics & Albums

I was listening to an awesome mix the other day (by Chrome Sparks - no surprise there) and I stopped for a minute to look at the album art. It is peculiar.

Listen here while you read (if that's your thing):

The quote is taken from the Fader Interview that accompanied the release of the mix. The relevant excerpt:
We were staying with a buddy of mine in New Orleans who lived in half a duplex and had access to the other half, which was vacant. The last guy to live there was named the Candyman, because he would go to bars, ask girls for their IDs, and then give them candy. As there were four of us crashing at my friend's, he offered to let my girlfriend at the time and me into the other half of the duplex to stay in the vacant master bedroom. After passing what looked like a dried pool of blood at the foot of the fridge, we made our way to the bedroom, which had three locks on the inside of the door. She was too creeped out, so we went back to my friend's half of the duplex and offered up the creepy master bedroom to the drummer at the time, Dave—who took it. The next night when he went back to crash there, the lights were on, the door to the balcony was open, and the drawers were pulled out of the dresser. The Candyman had returned and trashed the room, presumably because he saw that someone had been staying there the night before. Dave came running back and we were severely spooked for the rest of our time in town.
You can read the rest (or maybe you've had enough?) here.

The absurdity of the quote really tickled me. It also got me thinking about how some lyrics of my favourite albums are so powerful yet overlooked, which is sad. I suppose it's because the album art is what people might bring to mind as a visual representation of a band, long before their equally colourful lyrics.

So why not try a little visual experiment to see if I can flip this norm on its head? I selected four of my all-time favourite albums, chose some lyrics that I especially enjoyed, and created new album art for each of them. And here they are!

Wincing The Night Away was and continues to be an excellent concept album. It reminds me of a sort of Alice In Wonderland that perhaps took place by the sea. I also love to belt out the lyrics (including this one) as loud as I can. Listen to the song Sleeping Lessons here.

Expo 86 is full of weird turns, tempo changes, and a wonderful, yet sometimes delightfully dissonant, combination of the band's two lead singers Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug. But what I love most about their music is the carefully constructed and intriguing metaphors. I get the feeling that this lyric is about a couple who fights constantly, and one declaring that they've had enough. But it sounds much nicer in the music than how I might explain it! Listen to the song In The Direction of the Moon here.

Ganging Up On The Sun is the closest album I own to country music, and I wanted to reflect the mellow feeling of banjo that the songs impress upon me. This is also one of my longest-running favourites. It's hard to believe it's been ten years since it was released. Listen to the song The New Underground here.

Was I The Wave? plays with a lot of ethereal sound and strange subject matter, under which can be found meaning that resonates with me. I imagine walking through a forest every time I listen to this album. Listen to the song Tracers here.

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