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.


Cowboy trampoline

Adam & the Amethysts - "Prophecy". With Flickering Flashlight, their upcoming second album, the Amethysts' Adam Waito has emerged from his home studio brandishing a treasure. It is a hunk of beautiful rock, granite studded with silver and mica and quartz-crystal, veins of feldspar, spurs of pyrite, amethyst filigree. It is heavy enough that you could take it in your hand and punch a hole in the wall. You could throw it at a bird and knock the whole tree drown. You could set it on a mantelpiece and make that house a home, heirloomed. You could use this hunk of rock to marry a girl, to start a campfire, to bankroll a locomotive.

There are people everywhere making folk music, making rock music, nursing nostalgias in low fidelity. Adam & the Amethysts' work is set apart, not just by geography - the Canadiana in these songs, the vast woods and great lakes, - but by its sound, weird and kind. It is some of the highest-fi lo-fi music I have ever heard - imagine dusty songs, the way a bar of sunlight turns this dust to gold. Yes, it evokes the ragged sincerity of Neil Young, Tim Hardin, Woods, Kurt Vile, but what sets it apart are the stranger influences, baroque and psychedelic, grinning and eldritch: the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Van Dyke Parks, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Jesus Christ Superstar. These are quarries not yet plumbed: the Amethysts' music is splendid, fertile, new.

And so "Prophecy", a song that recalls Brian Wilson, the Unicorns, "Auld Lang Syne", Macbeth. Drumsticks and acoustic guitar, pinned by whoops, hooks like arrows fired at the clouds. It's a tune that cuts through this winter like confetti through an empty room. It starts by telling you to chill out, ends by summoning witches (in three-part harmony), and you'll not hear a sweeter, catchier nonsense before the summertime swoon.

[Adam & the Amethysts are seeking a label / bandcamp / website / they are performing in Toronto on March 11, as part of Pop Montreal's CMW showcase]


You have until Wednesday night to enter our Withered Hand contest - peep the amazing hundred-plus entries so far. But just as importantly, Withered Hand is apparently having problems convincing US authorities that he is deserving of an artist visa for SXSW. This is ridiculous - please follow/retweet/spread the word.

(photo source unknown)

Posted by Sean at March 7, 2011 12:06 PM

FYI: eldritch - adjective - weird and sinister or ghostly

Thanks, Sean!

Posted by g00blar at March 7, 2011 2:23 PM

A lot of different bands play in the Torn Curtain's various rehearsal warrens, and from anywhere in the loft at any given time you can usually hear a few of them. Maybe a month or two ago my band overheard another band practicing the first little bit of a song. It had a good hook, with the singers going "hoo! hoo! hoo!" We were like, "This band sounds familiar, and this song is also really good." I guess that song was "Prophecy." I feel lucky.

Posted by Drew at March 7, 2011 6:54 PM

One of the main things I miss about Montreal is seeing Adam and the Amethysts perform. This song is a nice gift from Montreal.

Posted by Robin at March 8, 2011 2:00 AM

I am obsessed with this song. It put's me in a good mood.

Posted by Kelcy at March 9, 2011 12:57 AM

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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
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.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
(◊ means they write about music)

Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
WTF [podcast]
The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
The Hood Internet

things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
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le pick up
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drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
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