Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Tomorrow Hit Today

Burial -- 'Archangel'



The voices are stuck in a moment, a chorus of fragments building towards euphoria -- 'holding you'/'loving you'/'kissing you'/'tell me I'm alone'. The music is haunted, lost in the past; the voices are those of ghosts. Maybe they're intimations of a recent past -- the sonic equivalent of a post-club wander through the empty streets, your heart still in the club, your head not entirely clear. Or maybe not. Maybe it's something more distant, a yearning for days since passed, or days you never even actually experienced.

Whatever the truth, those voices keep on going, shifting pitch, straining to find the right intensity for the moment, to bring those old feeling back in full force. The future doesn't matter when you feel like this. Well, it never has before anyway...

All you know is how it felt then and how you want it to feel now.


Hercules and Love Affair -- 'Blind'



It's the present that's difficult here. Apparently the past and the future are 'painfully clear' -- are they one and the same maybe? Or did we only have a sense of the future in the past? Yeah, maybe that's it. Or shit, what if the future's no future at all unless we can get some sort of perspective on the now?

Antony's stretches his voice out, trying to find the right tone to engage with his history, to bring its knowledge to bear on the present -- 'As a child I knew that the stars/ Could only get brighter/ That we could get closer/ Leaving this darkness behind.'

Of course, right here, on this very day, at this precise fucking moment, it's hard to hold onto these thoughts. Maybe that's why the music reaches back, trying to find a pattern suitable for such sentiments. A classic disco beat, trumpets circling whenever that voice quietens down for a moment -- are these sounds triumphant or do they signal a resignation of sorts? Either way, the bass line keeps on moving, pushing higher only to fall back down almost instantly.

Eventually Antony opens up, his voice almost too fragile for such an unstoppable groove -- 'To hear you now, to see you now/ I can't look outside myself/ I must examine myself my breath and/ Look inside/ Because I feel blind/ Because I feel blind'.

And that's when it hits you -- this is myth in action, this is living history, this is an attempt to find meaning, to connect, to find something in a song, a story, a memory, or maybe even another person that shows you more than you can currently see. Maybe it won't happen -- it doesn't seem to happen in the song -- but it's worth trying for, even when it hurts. Just don't think you can escape the present, 'cos as much as you might want to think about where you've been and where you're going, right now is all you're ever going to have.

4 comments:

Tucker Stone said...

Those are both great tracks. I don't know why I love that Hercules album, but I'm kind of crazy about it. Nice site.

David said...

Thanks, and right back at you -- your site's great!

Also, thanks for commenting on this post, cos I was kinda worried about how purple it is. Then again, potential embarrassment is part of the fun of blogging, no?

And yeah, the Hercules and Love Affair album is doing it for me in a big way right now.

There are plenty of ups and downs in terms of mood, which is always a bonus, and I like the fact that it's sort of big and emotional in a fun, elaborate sort of way (all the playful mythic stuff, etc).

Tucker Stone said...

Don't know where it is on the internet, but that Savage Pencil guy tears the Hercules a big one in his cartoon for the April issue of the Wire.

David said...

Sad but true department -- I often forget that Savage Pencil is an actual cartoonist, and not just a character in an Eddie Campbell comic. I don't have the same problem with, say, Hunt Emerson or Alan Moore, but that's just my brain for you I guess.

Erm... anyway, I'll check that out next time I'm down the newsagents, thanks for mentioning it.