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.


random polaroid of sunglasses and cloud

The Secret Life of Sofia - "Nanda Devi". This song description is an abridged version of the Nanda Devi Wikipedia entry as of early on Tuesday, June 17, 2008.

Nanda Devi is the second and the highest. It is Bliss-Giving Goddess, two-peaked, east-west. Twin in myth and folklore. The interior is Sanctuary - Glacier, Glacier, Glacier, Glacier, Glacier. All of these glaciers are located within the Sanctuary. The arduous exploration of the Sanctuary is deep, very difficult to traverse. Hugh Ruttledge attempted three times in the 1930s and failed each time. In a letter to The Times he wrote that 'Nanda Devi imposes on her votaries an admission test as yet beyond their skill and endurance'. Attempts were made from 1965 to 1968 to listen [to] Nanda Devi, but an avalanche disappeared. Fragile firewood ... humankind.

[buy, with lovely limited edition artwork]

Coldplay - "Strawberry Swing". I met a girl this weekend who wore a cotton candy perfume. "I bought it in grade six," she said, "and it's still the only scent I ever get comments on. A two-dollar bottle of cotton candy." We expect the finest sweetnesses to be the sophisticated, expensive ones: the $400 bottle of Chanel, the Provence holiday, the lavender chocolate cake, the mountain-top necking, the euphoric moment at the end of the free-jazz show. When sometimes it's the Coldplay song, easy as anything, limply lyricked, beautifully recorded, with twists of raspberry guitar and the glimmer of strings, with clap and tumble and all the yes of that moment you were standing together and without saying anything she turned to you and put her lips to your cheek. [buy Coldplay's second-best album]

[photo source unknown]

Posted by Sean at June 17, 2008 2:25 PM


Posted by chr at June 17, 2008 3:13 PM

The Coldplay tune is nice but, for me, they've never topped Shiver. I first heard it played over Virgin's in-store radio and sprinted down three flights of stairs to find the album. I haven't felt the need to run anywhere for Chris Martin since.

Nanda Devi is wonderfully crushing, though. Makes me want a warm jumper or a hug from a big pair of arms, or both.

Yeah, definitely both.

Posted by Ryan at June 17, 2008 3:53 PM

^ Lovely description of "Nanda Devi," Ryan.

I'm wondering too, Sean, what's your pick for best Coldplay album?

Posted by Philana at June 17, 2008 4:09 PM

Yes, Parachutes, definitely. A wonderful record, undeserving of its ill repute. I wrote a 600 word defense of the album for Plan B magazine about a year ago. I remember in 2000 being unable to decide which was my favourite release - Parachutes, Kid A, or Agaetis Byrjun - and that tells me something.

and yes, thanks for that, ryan.

Posted by sean at June 17, 2008 4:15 PM

I like both of these songs a lot. I think one of the bands represented here has a lot of potential and is criminally underexposed. I leave you to guess which one I mean.

And Rush of Blood to the Head is clearly the best coldplay album. Sorry.

Posted by n at June 18, 2008 12:26 PM

god, Nanda Devi just made me buy the whole thing. "Outside", another song The Secret Life gives out for free download, is much lighter but similarly beautiful. i am so much in love. thank you for this.

Posted by guyha at June 18, 2008 5:40 PM

Sean- great write-up for "Strawberry Swing". I wasn't going to listen to the song until I sat down and read what you had to say. I've been a little skeptical of their work lately. To me, nothing can beat the Parachutes album. This song is making me want to look into Viva la Vida now. Thank you.

Posted by melissa at June 18, 2008 10:05 PM

The fuck? I thought Eno was working with Coldplay this time around to make them interesting. Seems like either they are a lost cause, that this track is a low point of the album, or that Eno has lost his touch.

Posted by JB at June 18, 2008 10:35 PM


I guess you're one of those people who thought "In Rainbows" was God's latest gift to mankind?

Posted by c at June 19, 2008 3:18 PM

"In Rainbows" was pretty good, especially disk 2--though I prefer RH's "The Bends" and "Kid A" by a healthy margin.

I guess I was just underwhelmed by this piece because Colplay is--in terms of execution--a top notch band, though occasionally a bit bland for my taste (See: X&Y), while Eno is, well...Eno. In other words, I found that my standards had hitched a ride on a rising thermal, up to rather lofty heights, in anticipation of "Viva..."

But, shit, I'm going to buy this album anyway.

Posted by JB at June 20, 2008 12:15 AM

this secret life of sofia song totally rules. i think the coldplay reference is a little odious, but the sofia songs on myspace are all super beautiful, smart pop songs that don't pull punches but do tell stories. i think it's great. and that's great.

Posted by jesse at July 1, 2008 12:41 AM

wonderfully put, jesse. glad i found out about these guys...

Posted by Tim at July 3, 2008 11:36 AM

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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.

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