quietly into friday
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.

 

Continental Divide - "The Days Fade, But He's Old". Sometimes I record music. Or at least I've been known to. Just silly little things, sometimes with a few friends but often just me toying with GarageBand in my room at 2am, yelling into my iBook's internal microphone. I love to have my headphones on, something playing, and me just singing for myself, yelling fuzzy, slipping off the beat, too loud or too quiet, like wine sloshing in a glass.

The boy at the head of Continental Divide sings in just this way; there's an organ that sounds like Sunset Rubdown's, drums surprisingly taut, but the greatest satisfaction is in the vocals' slip and buzz. The way it's so amateur it feels hand-sewn: a voice that knits knots.

[MySpace]

---

Brave Radar - "Teton Ocean". A song of murmurs and then dawn's first fingers, more glow than light. It's easy to sing soft, sweet - to sound something like The Robot Ate Me, P:ano, The Microphones. The tricky bit is that glow. How to make a lamplight that won't bore the listener, that will keep on drawing them close. You need not just the right lamp, but the right lamp-lighters. The reason I'm posting this song is the triangle at 3:01, and then the clicks that are either a computer hiccuping, popcorn popping, chairs creaking, or a city's skies all full of fireworks as the sun's coming up.

[Brave Radar are from Sydney, Australia]

---

Chris Garneau-"Not Nice". I had finished writing this post, had uploaded the songs and everything, when the newsletter appeared in my mailbox from Cory at Absolutely Kosher. He didn't talk much about the album called Beast Moans (by Swan Lake, which is out on his label for sale in November, which I heard for the first time today, which is remarkable, which is so much more beautifully messy than I had even hoped, which is of course Wolf Parade's Spencer K and Frog Eyes' Carey M and Destroyer's Dan B). Instead he talked about a couple of new signings. One of them is this man, Chris Garneau. And Cory in his newsletter he shared an mp3 by Mr Garneau. And Sean in the cold of his Edinburgh patio, where he steals wireless internet because his home broadband isn't yet hooked up, heard a sound that he knew he wasn't going to shake.

By the time I'd listened twice I was pretty sure it was one of my favourite songs of the year.

That's a self-absorbed introduction for a song that is much more important tonight than I am. I mean it: forget me. Just turn off the lights. See what Chris Garneau heals with piano and peculiar elocution. Listen as he sings, tongue folded, like he's taking flowers from his mouth and arranging them on a plate. Orchid, chicory, bluebell, nightshade. This is the inverse of Antony (& the Johnsons). It's as if Garneau's been gathering songs like this, stillness and piano and cello, and he's been collecting all the gaps in these other peoples' tracks. And then with care, yes with pain, he makes his own song - a song made just of the gaps. Of the pauses that make something flicker instead of shine.

What a beautiful and sad song.

[pre-order Music for Tourists and get it ahead of its January release/ more info]

Posted by Sean at October 13, 2006 4:10 AM
Comments

sean you can't knit a knot and you goddamn well know it.

also, that chris garneau song is nice enough but aren't you getting tired of singers who sing like utter fucking wimps? becuase i sure am. this is actually a new thing for me. if i'd heard this song a couple weeks ago i probably would have loved it.

Posted by george at October 13, 2006 10:09 AM

sir, there is room for Beyonce *and* chris garneau in my collection!

Posted by Sean at October 13, 2006 10:19 AM

Whoops! Sean, did you mean to type, "Swan Lake, which is *NOT* out on [Cory's] label?" True, it's being carried by the AK store, but is in fact coming out on Jagjaguwar.

Posted by Ryan Catbird at October 13, 2006 10:51 AM

Oh, really! Oops-yikes! I saw it on the Ab Kosher 'coming soon' thing and assumed I was misremembering. I'll fix that. Thanks Ryan. (Sorry, Cory!)

Posted by Sean at October 13, 2006 11:01 AM

that chris garneau song just changed my life.

Posted by emily at October 13, 2006 10:22 PM

Sean!
i also really really enjoyed Not Nice.

Also, Tonight I went to see Grizzly Bear. i was looking forward to seeing them all week. But I got there and it was sold out. i was really sad (sigh).
But I did get to see Beirut last week and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. you win some you lose some yes?

Posted by (Maryam) at October 14, 2006 1:16 AM

I love the Chris Garneau. It reminds me a lot of Songs-era Regina Spektor. Only more fragile even than Samson, and without the vocal gymnastics.

Posted by Dave at October 17, 2006 9:02 PM

More here:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=lClccrNgMRI

Chris Garneau - "Baby's Romance" Live


how can someone be tired of beauty ?

Posted by Tonio at October 22, 2006 8:56 PM

check out 'Castle Time'. It'll stop your heart, it's so goddamned pretty.

Posted by josh at November 3, 2006 9:57 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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