Saturday, October 15, 2011

What I'm listening to: Cass McCombs & Shara Worden

So I've fallen prey to not-writing-anything-for-this-blog-itis again (as have my co-writers) and you are left hanging about any music we're experiencing. My apologies.

Currently I can't get over Cass McCombs' "You Saved My Life" (MP3) which is . . . well, I don't even know how to explain it. Like a slow dance, written to his wife (?), about the effect she's had on him. This song stuck out to me since the first listen, and I can't stop going back to it.

Other than that, I've been putting Shara Worden on repeat, partly because she provides some great creative fodder for the novel I'm writing about disappearance and the underworld. Her voice is the ivory centerpiece of Penelope by Sarah Kirkland Snider, and it's absolutely affecting. The album is like a strange sister to Hadestown by Anais Mitchell--like some strange inversion of everything that album does. Hadestown is an ensemble that explores the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in depression-era America; Penelope is a long monologue, Worden singing as the title character trying to get Odysseus to remember himself at the end of the weary journey in The Odyssey, set in modern times. The lyrics are fascinating and the arrangements beautiful. Highly recommended.

I think I'll be able to describe my experience a bit easier with some distance from the whole thing. I'll keep you posted.

Also, there's Worden's new album as My Brightest Diamond, "All Things Will Unwind". You can feel Worden's new life as a parent throughout: it's like a love letter to her new child, yet still very strange, very MBD-esque. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but I made Chicken Tikka Masala listening to it the other night and started dancing randomly, so it's got something.

Here's an MP3 of my favourite song on the album, "Reaching Through to the Other Side" (MP3).

Keep on. Is there any new music that's affected you lately?