bonnie ‘prince’ billy – cursed sleep

forgetfulness? in all honesty, there can be no other explanation for why i have both the cd and vinyl media for this single release off the letting go. it is genuinely the only instance of that phenomenon. a kind of bizarre affliction similar to that described in the content.

it picked one of the heavier songs from that album, in cursed sleep, alongside the quietest; god’s small song. these are separated by one non-album song, the signifying wolf.

cursed sleep is odd, because the chords and melody invoke the blues, while the primary instruments employed to do so; strings and acoustic guitar; seem counterintuitive to achieve that end. though emmett kelly runs some pretty amazing electric sequences. the result is another classic pairing of music with lyric content that both tell a remarkably vivid story.

carrying on with the blues somewhat is the signifying wolf, with a more standard but very unpredictable approach. i know that seems not possible. the rhythm and some of the guitar work has an almost reggae feel to it; and the singing and howling are genuinely anti-melodic. the song sort of works – it’s not a train wreck – but it’s hard to explain why.

finally, god’s small song. i don’t understand why it made it on the single release given that it’s on the record as well. it doesn’t fit.

but the premise of all three is precisely where i’m at right now – finding it hard to sleep; in part, no doubt, to thoughts and memories running through my mind from all angles.

if music doesn’t soothe or console, it explains and distracts at least.

then waking, he was older still
and holds my love against its will
in spell cast with his palms extended
cursed love is never ending


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