TWO SONGS OF THE SUMMER
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.

 
James Irwin - 'Everything Passed Me By' image by Adam Waito


James Irwin - "Everything Passed Me By". Flying to Los Angeles tomorrow and what better send-off than this jet-plume of a song by Montreal's James Irwin. Synths prowl softly round the rhythm section's groove; nimble guitars and baby blues; a saxophone like a shot & vanishing rocket.

Seems we're never going to get a record by The Moment, Montreal's best new band of 2013. They were James Irwin and Nick Scribner, Adam Waito and Julia Lewandowski and Jeffrey Malecki. "Everything Passed Me By" was one of theirs - a treasure I was waiting for. In concert, this tune was a blanket and a rainforest. It was a scene, a jam, a whole complete friendship. It was five songs convening in a summer field.

Now James has finished "Everything Passed Me By" on his own. I think it's songier than it was: melody & harmony, a musical arrangement gathered in a room. But still those gorgeous chords, that beautiful diffuseness. A fizz of feelings, vivid and fading and faint, in a story of Californian evenings, summer heat, lying down on a lawn. There's a long sunset. There's distance. There's surf. Ariel Pink is here, with John Maus. Belle & Sebastian are squinting at a concrete ocean-wall. If there are leaves, the leaves' green has lost its saturation. The day is Polaroid, with flat feet and swollen heart. I thought I was Harry Nilsson, here / I thought I'd be walking on the beach and the vision would wash up in a bottle at my feet / Everything passed me by. It's a song that dances with inevitability, around inevitability, splits inevitability into trilling call and answer, division, no mistakes.

Some paradises are very specific, too specific to ever find.

[more from James / there's a remix coming]


Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr SID, D'Prince and The Mavins - "Dorobucci". In Africa at least, they have a worthy "song of the summer". "Dorobucci", from Nigeria's Mavin Records, is one of the year's biggest hits. It's a lissom, looping laze. It's a chant of good times, wealth and friendship, sunshine and water and flowing breeze. You can turn it up loud and dance, with all your gang; you can turn it down a little and breathe in/breathe out, among dappled lights. Nighttime and daytime, Dorobucci. Daytime and nighttime, Dorobucci. Simple as a good mood, found.

[official video coming soon / lots of great unofficial ones]

---

If you're on the west coast, I do hope you'll join me for readings & music in Los Angeles on Wednesday 23/7, SF on Monday 28/7, and Portland on Tuesday, 29/7.

(illustration by Adam Waito)

Posted by Sean at July 21, 2014 3:36 PM
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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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