in my heart this rests, plaintively. listening to it is homage to a moment in time. it’s sweet, not sorrowful, but its memories dredge others that were sewn to it way back when.
big star records had a section dedicated to constellation releases – they used to be under the main shelves, but at some point were promoted so you didn’t have to crouch anymore. the exclusively cardboard covers felt like they belonged somewhere else; not amongst the jewel plastic. the pale blue of this album with its little window, braille on the back cover and metallic embossed typeface made it feel like i was buying a one-of-a-kind artwork. that surely reflected a certain dedication the musicians had to craft?
travelling feels like an inherent part of these songs. minmin invokes metal wheels on train tracks and hanging out the window as the countryside rushes by; the landlord is dead literally takes off like a jet. the guitar has a distinct twang that’s not like the other twang described elsewhere here. it’s warm and uplifting; never feels bogged down or attached to a place in history or geography. it ends with the lightness and ad nauseum repetition of goodbye enemy airship; major key brass, skipping cymbals and a near-danceable snare beat.
in its dark wooziness, the apartment song is the one that sticks the most, in part because it carries the emotional weight of the album. you do feel as though closed in a room. it’s followed by all of this is true, which rises and falls in several different ways. bass enters at various points and disappears altogether; sci-fi electronic phaser sounds come and go; even nature sounds that resemble frogs, running water and a screaming crowd overlap the diffusing bassline. and yet its core melody is a simple repetition of the same three notes. the song literally segues into the even heavier bass- and keyboard-driven bruce e kinesis.
when i listen to this now, i wouldn’t have a clue how a radio presenter would talk about or introduce it. it defies categories and even factual description. it defies likeness in music today. there is no reference point. i don’t know what a stranger would make of it. but i still know what i make of it.
teleport me off this rock.
[ps. yes, it has been a while]