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.


fireworks - photo by milena

Elbow - "Starlings".

  • Here's what a fanfare is: It's when the trumpets all go BADEDAAAAAAAAAAAAH. It's when they play their brass notes in ALL CAPS and it's when the drums they play fierce & fearsome ratatatat-tat. Fanfares startle, they wake you up. They're a coup d'or to the eye. They ANNOUNCE - they announce something is coming, a splendour is coming - "Sons & daughters," they are saying, "a gladness is coming!" They are rare. Fanfares lose their oomph when they are repeated too often; it's why we don't hear them every time we enter a room (and why royalty so quickly tarnishes). Elbow know this, the importance of the rarity. And they know that it is beautiful, so beautiful, to hear a fanfare in NOISE. To realise in all life's cacophony that the noise you hear is FANFARE, hidden there.

    And they also know oh oh oh man when you can ask someone "Darling is this love?", fuck, seriously, FANFARE.

  • "Starling" and the rest of The Seldom Seen Kid are probably the best sounding album of 2008 so far. Beautifully, beautifully recorded.

  • heart in mouth & empty handed i still have to say, world, that i love love love a good love song.

  • [buy]


The Lifted Brow is an Australian book/zine project that is excellent. Their TLB4, due later this year, will include stories, music, poems & scraps in book & cd form, with a hundred writers, musicians and so forths making things inspired by a fake bookshelf discovered by Michaela McGuire. They haven't announced the lineup yet, it doesn't look like, but I promise you it includes some of my favourite writers and musicians (and also me). They are also holding a contest for other submissions - and the prize is big as sin. Go see.

[photo source]

Posted by Sean at March 24, 2008 1:38 AM

I enjoyed reading this an awful lot...Starlings is, I think, my favourite song of this year so far, and it was a pleasure reading your thoughts on fanfares.

Posted by Anna at March 24, 2008 9:32 AM

This song is so beautiful! I like their explosion. Thank you! Never heard of them!
By the way, what do you mean by "sounding" album?

Posted by annita at March 24, 2008 10:01 AM

I really like this but Joseph just walked by and said "Sting vocal".
And now it's ruined.

Posted by Michelle at March 24, 2008 12:01 PM

Wonderful read and such a beautiful song.
Truly their best album so far.
I've got to go out and buy it.
Thank you for sharing.

Posted by AnnBe at March 24, 2008 12:20 PM

annita - I mean that every recorded sound on this album just SOUNDS so good. it was recorded so wondrous well, and the dynamics back and forth so thrillingly. not all squeezed together and loud in the mix.

Michelle - oh wow, hi there! you can tell joseph WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH STING, huh? it is not like TV On The Radio all peter gabriel-aping. this dude's just an englishman with pipes. also: this vs "englishman in new york"? sting's a Garvey soundalike when you think about it that way.

Posted by sean at March 24, 2008 12:32 PM

Your writing stinks like roses: what an apt description! ;) I must agree, everything that I've heard from this album has bowled me over. Grounds for Divorce is another standout track.

Posted by Kevin at March 24, 2008 3:59 PM

The best discription of a fanfare... ever!!! ;o)

Posted by This Ain't No Party at March 25, 2008 9:50 AM

I literally bounced in by seat and said "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD" out loud, here in this house at 2:51 in the morning, because... NEW ELBOW ALBUM. I cannot contain my joy. Thank you.

Posted by bigbigtruck at March 27, 2008 3:54 AM

starling is so beautiful. thankyou so much for always sharing such complimentary words to describe how you actually feel music. elbow is one of my favorites, years ago seeing them live with the doves nearly took my breath away.

Posted by musicisart at April 3, 2008 11:23 PM

Today I ventured into my attic to look for a backpack. While I was up there, I came across several binders I used during high school. The lyrics to Starlings were scrawled across the front of one of them. I stared at them for a few minutes, desperately trying to remember this song that my 17 year old self was so fond of. And then it hit me. The horns, oh my god, the horns, how could I ever forget those horns. And now I'm sitting in bed, listening to this song for the first time in at least two years and it still feels so right and so new.

Thank you for bringing this song into my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Posted by Abigail at September 13, 2011 8:11 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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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.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

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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