Jul 29, 2007

...And then Sunset Rubdown Leaked, And Happiness and Peace Reigned Throughout The World

There once was a young man from Canada named Spencer and he made music and everyone was happy, for he brought beauty and passion not seen and heard like this for many a long day. He was uninhibited and unfettered by convention. He made music to fill everyone's hearts and minds. Well now, Spencer is back and his band, Sunset Rubdown, have done well, very well. Through the power of the internet, the word is spreading about "Random Spirit Lover" and the word is WOW. He has done it again. To cut to the chase, "Random Spirit Lover" is released on Jagjaguwar on October 9, and if you are able to wait that long you are in for a treat. If you have heard it now you will know what I mean when I say this. Music this good deserves its own category. It sounds and feels like no other, it makes even the best of music seem somewhat unimaginative and mundane. You have probably gathered by now that I regard Mr Krug as the greatest songwriter of his generation (although still new). I do wonder though when your favourite artist releases new music can you actually be objective about it. Probably not, everything you love about them is only going to be reinforced when you hear their voice again. You hear things other people ignore, you feel things other people just don't get. But, in the end I don't think this matters, for music should be, at its most essential, about emotion, feeling, soul and passion. And if you feel it, express it...

So to "Random Spirit Lover", a quick guide-
The Mending of The Gown
A trill guitar riff gives away to an insanely catchy tune, great harmonies with Camilla.
"She had a name, she had a spirit, she had a line in the play if you wanted to hear it."
Magic Vs. Midas
Mournful and elegant, Spencer sings in hushed tones backed by baroque instrumentation.
You can follow the lead of the jackal who waits for the kill to be made by a mightier hand."
Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Feral Days- link to listen
Holy cow, this will burst your chest open. A powerful, emotional epic.
"You’re the one who’s throwing dead birds in the air."
The Courtesan Has Sung
Ethereal and full of echo, drum heavy and a slow burning glory.
"Think of the scene where a washed-up actor wipes the makeup off his wife and says, 'Morticians must have took you for a whore'."
Winged/Wicked Things
First surfaced on Daytrotter, still packs a powerful punch.
But the pattern of flight is chaotic and blind but it’s right."
Colt Stands Up, Grows Horns

Camilla takes over, dirge like and unsettling, dark and mysterious.
"And you twisted the wind, ‘til the snow turns to sand and I can’t find the trail back home."
Sumptuous piano leads to intricate rhythms and plaintive singing.
"Children sing like a choir with no taste for the wine."
For The Pier (and Dead Shimmering)
Is that a harp?, this is gorgeous. Builds and builds before bursting into beauty.
And the raining sound it makes when it’s burning out your eyes."
The Taming Of The Hands That Came Back To Life
Perfect! Throbbing, pulsating, OMG. Drums, harmonies, the guitar riff.
"I am embracing the cold rushing in like ice to a diamond."
Setting Vs. Rising
Short and sweet, full of hope.
"If I'm a city than my citizens will pass no bills along. "
Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!
Frantic, passionate, a whirlwind of a song.
"You gotta refine your breath and beats with a graduation hat—use mine."
Child-Heart Losers
So gently it ends, beautiful and sweet.
Indescribable face, what do you stay beautiful for?"

"Shut Up I Am Dreaming" was the triumph of 2006. To have a new album in the following year is a joy for all. How does it compare? Well it is hard to say. They are separate and distinct entities, plus music this complex and elaborate needs constant and considerable listening. Suffice to say it is a triumph on so many levels it will live inside you for days and weeks. Everything you expect is there. Spencer's rallying cry of a yelp, his distinct and unmistakable voice. More Ba-da-dams and
Whoa-oh-ohs to keep us all happy. Lyrics of mystery and intrigue that will keep you bemused, confused and delighted. It does seem that this is more of an album of stories of place, rather then personal stories. It brings up continual themes of horses, whores, shores, rivers, actors, fires, violins, virgins, with a particular reference to the subject of the sea. The band is magnificent, bringing a tight sound, especially the drumming. And Camilla's vocals are given more prominence, adding another element. Clocking in at around an hour, this is music that feels delivered from a special place. Raging and epic, small and personal. Heartfelt and boundless. The spirit of humanity lives and breathes here. I need to go and lie down for a while...

With respect to the artist I wouldn't think to post any music here. I hope this in some ways give you a feeling for the music if you haven't heard it yet. Wolf Parade forums have it covered every way up and down, head over for more guidance if you like.


  • At July 30, 2007 , Blogger Aaron. said...

    so im not the only one who thinks Spencer Krug is the greatest songwriter of the generation? phew.

    absolutely thrilled by the new album btw.

  • At July 31, 2007 , Anonymous nikki said...

    I'm loving this album. Then again Spencer Krug could put together anything and I'd think it was genius.

  • At August 02, 2007 , Blogger Nadirt said...

    Great write up. Shut Up I'm Dreaming was my #1 of 06 as well, and this effort seems destined as well. I feel oh so guilty having this release so soon, but since I plan on buying it I guess it lessens it. Spencer Krug has officially left the Indie world in the dust!

  • At August 03, 2007 , Blogger douglas martin said...

    "the sails are flapping in the wind. i say, 'cool, that looks cool. now, do you think the second movement has too many violins?' "

    random spirit lover is an instant album-of-the-year contender. i think if everyone hops off the sufjan bandwagon, krug will get his rightful due as the greatest songwriter of this generation.

  • At August 03, 2007 , Blogger James said...

    I love your blog, and almost always agree with you! Thank You

  • At August 13, 2007 , Anonymous prairiesquid said...

    absolutely agree. they have truly raised the bar for indie rock. if pitchfork doesn't give this one a 10.0, then i'll finally have the proof i need to prove that they're subsidized by Sony.


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