Posted in Music, Sunday Songs

Sunday Songs: 2/26/23

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! Hope this week has treated you all well.

Here we are at the end of the shortest month of the year, and we’ve got a bit of a…chaotic mishmash of songs for the occasion this week. I suppose it always is, but even though the album covers are somewhat coordinated, the songs were strung together like angry children reluctantly getting shoved into a family photo. I like them all, though, and I hope you do too. Climb aboard the (emotional) rollercoaster, you never know what’ll hit you. Hopefully not whiplash.

Enjoy this week’s songs!

SUNDAY SONGS: 2/26/23

“The Court (Dark-Side Mix)” – Peter Gabriel

“Justice is a luxury for the rich” HERE KING YOU DROPPED THIS 👑

I end up sacrificing color schemes for chronology in these posts more than not, but in the end, it’s more about talking about the music I’m generally liking, so I’ve abandoned the guilt at this point, even though we’re closer to the next full moon to when “The Court” actually came out. Anyway.

I talked a bit about “Panopticom” last month, and I liked it, but it felt like there was something missing. Turns out that this song was what was missing—I was already excited for i/o, but “The Court” is getting my hopes up. From the barely audible, slowed-down laughter hidden in the intro, there’s a creeping, sinister feel to the whole song; you can almost feel a shadow being cast across your body when the chorus echoes with “And the court/Will rise/While the pillars all fall.” It’s a slow build, but unlike “Panopticom,” which left a sort of void that I was waiting for the entire time, “The Court” weaves into an ominous spectacle, that, regardless of the Dark-Side or Bright-Side mix, wraps you up in a cloud of smoke. A bit of theatricality, almost reminiscent of some of Gabriel’s orchestral reimaginings of his earlier songs, creeps into the bridge as his voice (still just as rich even when he’s in his 70’s…oh, happy belated birthday, by the way!), making for a song that functions as an individual piece, but has the feeling of a great album opener. I’m not even sure. I think it would be a good opening, but we won’t have any semblance of order for i/o until the end of the year, so we’ll see…

“MFSOTSOTR” – Sidney Gish

As of now, it’s been a few weeks since the actual announcement, but Sidney Gish is back!! She’s been teasing a new album that was originally set to be released in January, but as of now, is still being worked on. But for now, she’s released two singles as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club—this song and “Filming School,” which is just as great. On the process of writing “MFSOTSOTR,” Gish said that “the lyrics were freestyled while staring at a meme of a buff man wearing high-waisted jeans. No edits were ever made to ‘MFSOTSOTR.’ It has haunted my hard drive for three years.” And if that doesn’t sum up the wonderfully oddball spirit of Sidney Gish both in her songwriting and personality, then I don’t know what does. Even though it’s barely a minute long, this song is packed with everything that endeared Gish to me back in 2019—it’s the definition of carefree, building off of freestyle riffing without any worry about meaning. From the deliberate mispronunciation of “question” to the delicate layering of Gish’s harmonies, it’s made me so excited for what the future has in store for her—let’s hope that album comes out soon (whenever she feels like it’s ready, of course), but for now, we have some bite-sized, joyful weirdness to enjoy for the time being.

“Enter One” – Sol Seppy

And now we’re at the polar opposite of the spectrum of sadness. Whoops. Apologies for the emotional whiplash.

I can thank my mom for this one after she found it in the soundtrack of Dark (which I still haven’t seen, oops), and all I can say is that it’s heartbreakingly beautiful. This is my first exposure to Sol Seppy (a stage name for Sophie Michalitsianos), but knowing that she was part of Sparklehorse’s backing band for several years (most notably on their 2001 album It’s a Wonderful Life) makes the sound of this song make even more sense. It has the same bare, melancholic sparseness, with a delicate piano as the only instrumentation for most of the song. That should be enough to signal how rough of a ride this song is, but I digress. Seppy’s voice does no small amount of heavy lifting as its layered over each other, rising like an impending tidal wave that casts a long, creeping shadow over the beach. And given that, from what I can sort of glean from the lyrics, it seems to be about letting go and welcoming/coming to terms with death (“Fear not this light/We are on this light divine/Welcome/Enter one”), the atmosphere is palpable—it’s a painfully beautiful song, and it’s difficult to listen to, but nonetheless a gorgeously written piece of music. I guess that’s why at least 3 different death (or somehow emotional) scenes from several different movies or TV shows came up when I searched it on YouTube…

“Rotten Ol’ me” – Shakey Graves

Alright, here we go. Back to happy times again. The dark clouds have parted, and in the sunshine comes Shakey Graves.

I haven’t had the time to listen to Deadstock – A Shakey Graves Day Anthology in its entirety, but I decided that I’d listen to the iTunes previews of the songs that sounded promising to me. I sifted a handful out of that initial listen, but “Rotten Ol’ me” has quickly risen to my favorite of the bunch. The opening riff perfectly captures the feel of this song—darkly mischievous and playful, with the feeling of a tiny devil with a pointy goatee sitting on your shoulder with a guitar. (Or maybe the giant, hovering skull on the album cover instead? Either one fits the vibe, really.) Alejandro Rose-Garcia is, without a doubt, one of the more innovative alternative/folk musicians to come out of the past few decades, and that’s not even talking about some of his drum techniques, but “Rotten Ol’ me” is proof of his sheer guitar prowess. With its multilayered melodies and a rapid plucking style that makes my fingers hurt just think about it, each note feels like a thread in a giant tapestry, each one knotted to the other to create a lively folk song full of hooks.

“D.I.Y.” – Peter Gabriel

I thought I was done doubling up after two weeks ago, but Peter Gabriel will always be just that good. This one’s worlds away from the feel of “The Court,” and it comes off of his second album, Peter Gabriel 2: Scratch (you know, the one where he’s got the frighteningly long acrylics—oh, those are scratches, you say?). My first thought upon listening to this was that it reeked of Berlin Trilogy-era David Bowie (Low, “Heroes,” and Lodger, for reference). Scratch was released just a year after both Low and “Heroes,” so there’s no doubt that this guy was leaning over Bowie’s shoulder and taking notes and hoping that he wouldn’t notice. Robert Fripp produced this album and worked with Bowie around the same time as well, so I guess there weren’t any hard feelings. Still a few years fresh off of Genesis, “D.I.Y.” is full of art-rock defiance, jangling and bright but ready to spit in the face with it’s pre-chorus: “Come up to me with your ‘What did you say?’/And I’ll tell you, straight in the eye, hey!/D.I.Y.” With its climbing instrumentation and Gabriel’s simultaneously bright and rich vocals, it’s instantly catchy, proof of his versatility even that early on in his career.

Since today’s post consists entirely of songs, consider all of them to be today’s song.

That’s it for this week’s Sunday Songs! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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book blogger, aspiring author, music nerd, comics fan, stargazer. ☆ she/her ☆ ISFJ ☆ bisexual ☆ spd ☆ art: @spacefacedraws

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