gravenhurst – flashlight seasons

my memories keep me feverish

a quiet, counted start. some sound i can’t pick. a voice that in other ways i might find annoying, but the high pitch complements the music beautifully. it’s genuinely another instrument. the music reaches the crest of a wave with a few extra layers of noise and volume, then recedes.

and it’s a bit like simon & garfunkel, as my memory serves from much younger days of dad listening to it on the record player. i think in some ways it’s not far off early iron & wine either, especially with the driving basic rhythm – using guitars as a form of percussion and melody at the same time. perhaps there’s even a little bit of the quietest will oldham here.

there’s a left-field break mid-way through, with east of the city, that combines the minor key build-up with a kind of electronic overlay. it makes the song oceanic. it’s a beautiful instrumental piece that has elements of emotional carriage. you do feel something without needing to be told what it is.

the internal variation is, however, minimal. to that end, aside from some quite notable short passages of fine guitar work, the theme carries and you need to love it to get it (or the other way round).

there is a connection in the collection’s web, too. the interior artwork is by william schaff; also having done okkervil river and many other creepy album artwork credits (from memory, godspeed where someone’s hands are cut off and falling into a basket – unforgettable in a disturbing way). and yes, i will happily admit that i thought the artist was one and the same as lead singer of okkervil river, who is actually will sheff.

regardless of misconceptions, this album echoes with a slight chill. and rewards with close listening; paying attention to those times when there’s a rise in one’s heart rate and/or brain activity.

i caress where my lover once lay by my side
before i turned inwards and forced him to fly


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