by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

Woman on hill

Burning Hearts - "Into the Wilderness". Whipsmart, fine, you got me dumbstruck. You talk of foxes, forests, wilderness, but I'm still right here, present, sure-footed in the just so. I'm too smitten to think faraway, to think spruce-quills and woods. Today the summer seems all light and heat, blitzed blue skies, glints on a billion mirrored surfaces. I hear fingersnaps, running water, bare feet on concrete. The frilled shhhf of an accidental touch. Our hands are covered in fine creases. No winter.

[Burning Hearts are from Finland / buy / music video]

Beirut - "Goshen". To promote his upcoming album, The Rip Tide, Beirut released a song called "East Harlem", which is not very good. But the B side is "Goshen", and this is gorgeous. I am not sure if Beirut or his label will ask us to take it down. Promoting an album, these days, means that you lay out a game plan and you stick to it. It was different in 2006, when we were more or less the first people to write about Gulag Orkestar. Zach wrote a guestpost for us, and "Postcards from Italy" went on to become my favourite song of the year. Since that first time, I have only written about one other Beirut track, an exquisite tune called "Elephant Gun". We said nothing about The Flying Club Cup, because we didn't have anything to say. Which is a roundabout way of getting to "Goshen", of asking you to trust me, of saying, I'm careful. "Goshen" is just a handful of chords, a plain piano ballad, yearning. I could almost imagine it sung by Elton John. And it's beautiful, this musical straight line, this little piece of gold. How simple, to want something for someone else. How simple and so fraught. (There is a sadness to questions which will never be answered.)

[do buy on 7"/The Rip Tide is out August 2]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at June 30, 2011 6:56 PM

The bit written for Burning Hearts is brilliant. It should be put on display in the Smithsonian and periodically showered in ultraviolet light.

Posted by DocNoc at June 30, 2011 9:48 PM

i saw beirut play recently, and was struck by that same ballad. i was convinced it was some inspired cover, desperately writing down lyrics in order to find it later. it's nice to find it again so suddenly.

Posted by ellen at July 1, 2011 1:32 AM

i completely agree with you, docnoc. it's breathtaking...

Posted by Maureen at July 6, 2011 1:54 PM
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about the authors
Sean Michaels lives in Montreal. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here.

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