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.


Unknown artist - "unknown title". Lyra emailed this to us, asking "Do you know who this is?" I don't. But within days the song had hooked itself in my ear, become a part of my ear's topography, like a little crystal sheep on a mantelpiece. Do you know who or what this is? Leave a comment and let us know. It's a Magnetic Fields baritone and a Jarvis Cocker monologue, an arrangement of hung-over violin and dying neon feedback. When you get back from a party and just sit on the edge of your bed with your big headphones on, the dark somehow streaming, hunched with your back to the window, muttering to yourself. Saying the things you didn't say, asking the questions you didn't ask. Imagining your friends' faces in portraits of smeared charcoal.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - "Let's Start a Family (Blacks)". The pitter of rain against a window-screen, of eyelashes against cheek, of my kisses on your back. These sounds will help you to recover. Secrets go diffuse here. They fade. Doubts waver and are forgotten. Promises are made, easy as cups of tea, and sweet. In hushbreath morning voice we sing, just the easiest song: "do do-do do-do". We'll lay like flowers.


As I've said before, May's issue of The Believer includes an interview I conducted with Okkervil River's Will Sheff last year. They've seen fit to publish the whole piece online here. I'm really delighted with how it turned out. And he talks about everything from the Sex Pistols to knife-fights to "literate" pop music.


The Coudal Partners' Swap Meat is really cool.

Posted by Sean at May 1, 2007 7:32 AM

I saw the first singer at the Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec on April 12th, 2007, when he opened for Final Fantasy. But I can't for the life of me remember his name.

Posted by alix at May 1, 2007 10:06 PM

I agree with Alix and think the band was called Hank with the lead singer of the same name. [we were at the same concert] They were missing a band member Tara who was out mountain climbing..

Posted by n at May 1, 2007 10:57 PM

Hank! Of course! Thank you!

Posted by alix at May 1, 2007 11:01 PM

Thank you for posting this song, and thank you alix and n for shedding some light. This has seriously been bothering (while simultaneously exhilarating) me for a year.

Posted by Lyra Hill at May 2, 2007 1:06 AM

On second thought, I'm not sure you've found the answer... a quick listen to the songs on Hank's Myspace find a similar voice but completely different style, attitude, and backup. It could be the same man but I doubt it. The song posted here did have three accompanying tracks and all of them sound less like Hank than this one.

Posted by lyra at May 2, 2007 1:18 AM

I may be wrong, but this guys really really sounds like Jens Lekman

Posted by Chryde at May 2, 2007 9:08 AM

hey, yeah it sounds like jens lekman with a british accent. hmm. he usually don't have this kind of arrangement, he uses more samplings and such.. but it could be him!

Posted by lovisa at May 2, 2007 10:19 AM

Not sure about Hank... It's definitely not Jens Lekman though. Please keep the ideas coming!

Posted by Sean at May 2, 2007 11:00 AM

way too melodic/not frenzied enough to be hank. (then again, hank is one band that you should never force any expectations on).

Posted by david b at May 2, 2007 11:53 AM

Sounds like King Creosote to me.

Posted by Danica at May 2, 2007 1:30 PM

Well, the lyrics anyway. But an older, more British King Creosote.

Posted by Danica at May 2, 2007 1:32 PM

Is it Benni Hemm Hemm?

Posted by Aaron at May 2, 2007 2:09 PM

I turned this question over to the power of ILM

Posted by david b at May 2, 2007 5:14 PM

I like the song quite a lot... nice and minimilist.

Here's a song a lot of people have been trying to identify for about 4+ years now. If anyone wants to give it a listen, we would love an answer to this mystery song we are calling "Stay (The Second Time Around)" -- the vocal sounds so familiar.
http://spiritofradio.ca/SongComments.asp?SongID=220 http://www.nwoutpost.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=324

Posted by Dan Coogan at May 3, 2007 7:26 AM

Hey Sean, that Okkervil interview is outstanding. Congratulations.

Posted by frank at May 3, 2007 10:16 AM

Benni Hemm Hemm's music usually has more orchestration. And that's not an icelandic accent.

For some reason I'm thinking Divine Comedy.

Posted by Sveinbjörn at May 3, 2007 11:26 AM

It 1st unknown track sounds a little like Suburban Kids With Biblical Names.

Posted by sonofajoiner at May 3, 2007 4:08 PM

It sounds like Ballboy to me.

Posted by Greg Wieting at May 4, 2007 12:15 PM

I think it definitely sounds like Hank. But more along the line of the Hank some of us saw at the Blacksheep on the 12th. His recorded stuff, as I found out after picking up a an album, is completely different from what we heard. Which follows more along the lines of this recording, minus the violin though.

Posted by Anonymous at May 6, 2007 11:06 AM

whatever it is... so infectious. it cannot leave my head.

Posted by Tyler at May 7, 2007 10:19 AM

I knew i shouldn't have listened to that first song.. cause now i want to know who that is as well...

Why don't mail Hank to ask whether this is his song?

Posted by tombleweed at May 10, 2007 5:50 AM

I emailed Hank at myspace like 2 wks ago. Never heard from the band back.

Posted by Lizzie at May 20, 2007 6:59 AM

Got Hank's reply just now. It wasn't them who sang the song unfortunately =(

Posted by Lizzie at May 20, 2007 6:53 PM

It definitely ALMOST sounds like Magnetic Fields to me.

Posted by Dar at May 30, 2007 10:17 AM

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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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