I posted about Sigur Rós and their ability to tingle the spine previously, and with the release of 2008’s “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust” (“With Buzzing In Our Ears We Play Endlessly”, of course – is your Icelandic really that rusty?), comes the title track…uhm, half the title track…”Við spilum endalaust” (“We Play Endlessly”. I actually figured that one out without looking it up. Clever, huh?)

sigurros

A bit of a departure from their previous work, “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust” has shorter, more…I hasten to use the term “radio-friendly”, and “accessible” does an injustice to their wonderfully accessible back catalogue…but you get the gist. “Við spilum endalaust” is a wonderful example – swelling and ebbing, overflowing with joy, building, building, building…

A pounding drum, a falsetto vocal, pianos and a brass section flowing over it all…possibly the most wonderfully uplifting Icelandic song in the world. That I’ve heard, anyway.

Joyous.

Sigur Rós – Við Spilum Endalaust

www: Sigur Rós

What’s going on? Two posts in two days?

So, here I sit. I’m in a very contemplative mood. I’ve had a busy 12 months or so, full of unfeasibly high highs, and crushingly low lows. I think I’ve been through every emotion possible, and back again. So, here I sit.

I’m tired. I’m run down. But something inside has clicked, at least a little. I’ve spent, and still spend, too much time worrying about things I can’t control. So, I’m going to, if not stop, at least make efforts to lessen it. For too long, I’ve neglected hobbies I love – reading, music, art. So, I’m going to make sure every night, I go to bed pleased with my day and evening.

And for now, I’m going to stop talking, and start doing.

In line with my contemplative (4 times in only a few sentences – fantastic) mood, I give you a wonderfully contemplative song.

I’ve been contacted by a number of artists lately. Some are good, but not quite in line with what suits. Some are great, and suit perfectly.

Into the latter category, say hello to Elkhart.

elkhart

I was contacted by Travis Hopper, the singer and guitarist with Elkhart. In their own words:

For the first time in my life, I thought constantly of home. Not just of my family or my old neighborhood. Not just the schools or friends or particular trees that relax me after a long time away. I was consumed with the idea of home. The way that spending time with certain people or driving through town when the light is just right can make your heart beat slower. The way that – if you’re lucky – you’ll catch yourself at a particular place in time, able to step away from your body, and realize you’re exactly where you’re need to be. That’s home. That’s the idea we wanted to explore on this record.

The title track is, for me, the standout. Reminiscent of the Red House Painters, but a little less oppressive. Simple lyrics, a looping melody, capturing…something. Something lonely. Something between two people. Something of…an understanding?…empathy?…an acceptance?…of the others need, despite never knowing, truly, what affects them.

Touching. Haunting.

Do you remember what was playing on the radio when we were driving late at night past all the houses where we used to live? You come from a long line of hurt. I have seen a little, but not as much. And I can understand the need for towns that you can call your own.

Shots rang out while you were fast asleep, and I could hear the panic in your voice. You had seen the bullets, and the blood, but not like this.

The floor creaks as you walk down the hall. Lay on your side of the bed. Well, everybody needs a place to go, to let their guard down.

Elkhart – The Moon

www: Elkhart

So, only 2 and a half months after my last post, I’m back.

What can I say, dear reader? Life caught up, and overtook me. A number of personal events conspired to either take up my time, or leave me absolutely exhausted, to the extent where I neglected music (alongside a few other pastimes). However, despite the New Year starting like the Old Year (I’m copyrighting that one) ending, things have worked out well so far, and I’ve now taken some time to reprioritise my, uhm, priorities. And one of those is my love of music, and this website.

So, with 2009 now a month old, I’ve thought of creating a “best of 2008″ list. Thought, and discounted. Instead, I’m going to introduce you to my favourite new band, discovered late last year, and a band whom is not just my best of 2008, but in fact have staked a claim to be one of the best I’ve ever heard.

I have to say an enormous thanks to my girlfriend’s cousin, Patrick, for introducing me to the utterly amazing Frightened Rabbit.

frightenedrabbit

Imagine Biffy Clyro, but with folk leanings, with a little less shouting, and with some of the most wonderfully obscure lyrics I’ve ever come across. whether it’s the desperation of “The Twist”….

Lift your dress enough to show me those shins
Let your hair stick to your forehead

You twist and whisper the wrong name
I don’t care nor do my ears
Twist yourself around me
I need company I need human heat
I need human heat

Lets pretend I’m attractive and then
You won’t mind, you can twist for a while
It’s the night, I can be who you like
And I’ll quietly leave before it gets light

…the selfishness of “Good Arms Vs Bad Arms”…

I decided this decision some six months ago
So I’ll stick to my guns, but from now on it’s war
I am armed with the past, and the will, and a brick
I might not want you back, but I want to kill him

And leave the rest at arm’s length
Keep your naked flesh under your favorite dress
And leave the rest at arm’s length
When they reach out, don’t touch them, don’t touch them

And leave the rest at arm’s length
I am armed to the teeth and I’m heavy set
And leave the rest at arm’s length
I’m not ready to see this happen
And leave the rest at arm’s length
I’m still in love with you (can’t admit it yet)

…or the sheer, unadulterated wonderfulness of “Head Rolls Off”…

Jesus is just a spanish boy’s name.
How come one man got so much fame?
To enemy, it’s pointless to anybody
That doesn’t have faith
Give me the cloth and i’ll wipe my face.

When it’s all gone
Something carries on
And it’s not morbid talk,
Just when natures had enough of you…
When my blood stops,
Someone else’s will not.
When my head rolls off,
Someone else’s will turn.
And while i’m alive, i’ll make tiny changes to earth.

I believe in a house in the clouds
And God’s got his best friends round
He’s painted all the walls red
To remind them they’re all dead

While I’m alive,
I’ll make tiny changes to Earth.

…I dare you not to love, utterly love, this band. I do. Utterly.

I’ve included live versions of the three songs from “Quietly Now ! – Midnight Organ Fight Live And Acoustic At The Captain’s Rest”, a live version of their album “Midnight Organ Fight” which was recorded in July 2008 in Glasgow.

Frightened Rabbit – Good Arms Vs Bad Arms

Frightened Rabbit – Head Rolls Off

Frightened Rabbit – The Twist

Frightened Rabbit – Good Arms Vs Bad Arms (Live)

Frightened Rabbit – Head Rolls Off (Live)

Frightened Rabbit – The Twist (Live)

www: Listen to them here , and buy their albums here