I feel like I’ve grown too old for livejournal (first world problem) so I’ve started this. I think it will give my life some regularity. This is a good thing.
I’m going to post a song every day (perhaps, my favorite song that day! what a concept!) but this isn’t really a “music blog”. I failed at one of those three years ago.
Today was the first monday of my school year. Like usual, I misinterpreted the weather. It looked like it was going to be one of those days where you could walk through the forest as if you were dreaming between classes; sort of like a Sofia Coppola movie where everything is ethereal but nothing actually makes any sense or holds any meaning. Well, I was wrong – one sweaty back, one jacket, and one windbreaker later wrong. I’d woken up sort of disheveled-like. One pillow on the floor, like usual, but this time drowning in my new mattress pad. I woke up and (first-world reaction) turned on my computer. I put on the song “Furr” by Blitzen Trapper (Portland, OR) and I felt like I had done something right.
My housemate’s girlfriend (and my friend, but this just contextualizes why she was sleeping over) and I bumped into each other on the way out this morning and she asked me “what was that you were playing this morning?” My first reaction was “Oh, sorry if it woke you up” but she was into it. “I couldn’t tell if it was from the ’60s or if it was something totally new,” she responded.
“Yeah, it’s new. It’s really, really warm though. It feels like it was recorded on tape, very slowly. And the lyrics are pretty incredible.”
I guess I can speak about the song outside of my own quotes now; Eric Earley’s voice shimmers the entire time. The album is great as well, the songs all shine in their own ways – many much more polished and put together instrumentally in a way that is more befitting of a band – but the title track, Furr, stands as something almost timeless. It’s a warm homage to something akin to the Band or something like “Calvary Cross” by Richard Thompson but it doesn’t come across as something that could ever sound dated. When I first read about Blitzen Trapper, Pavement was always the band listed as a reference point. While I heard that, and hear it on a few tracks on the record, this song speaks for itself, references aside. The guitars shimmer, the tape hiss hisses, the harmonica cuts through the mix like a knife – not that psychedelic swampy harmonica, but the shine of daylight harmonica – sonically, there is nothing left to desire.
The song is about a boy who becomes a wolf – they allow him to join their pack and howl at the dawn – he loses his human side and mind. His flesh had turned to fur(r).
Earley wears his fur like a river on fire. Sings like it, too.