Read, Reflection, Relevant

It’s Easier To Pine

I’ve been obsessed with A Fine Frenzy’s newest album PINES since it released in October. Accompanying the album is an interactive digital book singer/songwriter Alison Sudol wrote, titled The Story of Pines. The entire project is absolutely stunning. I’m a sucker for music that meets narrative; what can I say? I remember my friend Lily recommending a few songs from One Cell in the Sea to me, but I wasn’t a huge fan of A Fine Frenzy until this album. I emotionally connected to PINES immediately after the first listen, and I’ve come back to it a number of times over the past few months. For me, it’s a definitively winter album. It’s a little softer, a little sadder, a little more painful.

I bought the album the week it dropped, but just stumbled upon a track-by-track commentary on Spotify with Alison Sudol, in which she takes listeners through the sensory progression she imagined and where she was emotionally in writing PINES. It’s all very lovely and worth your time. If things like Spotify playlists interest you, I made one with the commentary and album so you don’t even have to go searching for it, which you can access here. I transcribed a short clip from the commentary for you all because I thought it was all around lovely, even on its own, apart from the song.

“Dance of The Gray Whales–I started writing this piece–it’s the first instrumental piece I’ve ever written, and I started writing it years ago when I was on tour during One Cell in the Sea, actually. And I used to play it for myself and for friends who were upset or who needed soothing, or I’ve played it for friends and they’ve just fallen asleep to it. And it’s just–there’s a moment that happens after a stormy or turbulent event in your life where there’s a quiet, and–a really deep quiet. And there’s a bit of pain left over, but not really pain, but the memory of the pain. And yet there’s this kind of peaceful sort of gray cloud that comes over you, which is healing and–not gray, not dark gray, not a charcoal, not a storm, but a softness.

And I love whales, I think there’s something so wise and ancient about them and I just imagined being in the sea and having been in a shipwreck and gotten in a fight with ghost ships and then being rescued by whales. I mean, how much lovelier could that get, even though that may not carry the same weight because you’d be a bit tired. But it’d still be pretty nice.”

From PINES (Spotify Track by Track) by A Fine Frenzy 

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Reflection, Relevant

“And while you wait for your luck to change all you can think of is where you started”

I’ve always held the notion that inconsistency is a feature unique to this time in my life, unique to the all-too-lost and self-absorbed twenty-something, that eventually I’ll get to a point where things change a little less frequently, or in smaller ways, if nothing else. I’ve anticipated this moment, this age of consistency where I don’t feel drastically different each day when I wake up, each time I flip the pages of the calendar that hangs in my kitchen, each birthday that comes and goes and comesandgoes again, as though it would be easier that way, with the steady and the certain, as though we ever stop changing. Maybe I’ll get to a point where things will remain the same from year to year. Maybe I’ll buy a house and paint the walls a soft green and learn to save money and hang my clothes in my closet after I wash them and maybe I’ll have a better idea of who I am because she won’t seem to change nearly as drastically as she does now. But I don’t actually think consistency is compatible with humanness, and I don’t know that I want it to.

I think living can be really difficult sometimes. We don’t talk about it this way though because the alternative, the not-living, is horrifying both figuratively and literally. But I think it’s okay to admit that living is hard, and it’s okay to want it to be easier sometimes because it means we’re alive. It means we’re not numb to the world and all its horrible, terrifying, silly, heartbreaking, inspiring, overwhelming, beautiful, and complicated facets.

There’s something valuable that comes from discomfort and uncertainty. You taught me this a long time ago, before time convinced me we were no good for each other and I wanted to impress you so much more than I wanted to be great at anything, so I consumed all of your words, carefully, so that maybe they would press and form to my insides and become part of me and me a part of them and maybe I would believe them for the right reasons and I want to thank you because I do.

Living is hard sometimes, and I’m learning to love it more and more ardently, sincerely, and intensely every day. To love that the only thing consistent is inconsistency, and it’s all the better for that. And tonight, with a little bit of music perfection, I was reminded what it feels like to be a little more alive.

As you think the bad,  feeling so bad makes the good so good.

2c6ec38c8eca11e29d7122000a1f97c6_7Sunhandssun hands

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Rumpus

But he stays all the same, waits for you, then sees you through

I’ve been doing lots of things besides writing lately. Some of which you can find here. Maybe one of these days I’ll write a post explaining why I’ve begun another blogging space from scratch, but until then I leave you to explore as I figure out what exactly I’m doing over there. And since it’s been a whole five months since I’ve made a ukulele video, here’s a new one. I have a pretty strict policy that no one should ever sing Adele covers. Adele is a queen in my book. I don’t care if her music is overplayed. I don’t care if she always wins every award. She can’t be touched, nor should she. But I broke my own rule today because I came across the chords for “Daydreamer,” from her first album 19, and fell in love with it all over again but with my uke this time. You can throw rocks if you’d like, or you could listen to me honor Adele in the only (tiny, mediocre) way I know how.

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Random

Hey, it’s Thursday; let’s talk about music.

I’m quick to admit that I am an extremely selfish music-fan. I certainly know better. I know that musicians aren’t music-pumping machines that can spit out beautiful work with minimal effort. I know that I wouldn’t trade the quality of the music for more of it. My knowledge doesn’t make me any less selfish; I always want more music. The moment an album comes out, I’m excited for the next. I get angry when musicians release deluxe editions of their CDs on iTunes with bonus songs you can only get if you buy the iTunes version, and you may remember that I’m all about the real-deal hard copy. And possibly the most selfish thing I do is get bummed when I find a band whose debut album is absolutely incredible and is the band’s only album. Local Natives finally gave us a second album, so I’m looking at you, The Head and the Heart, GIVERS, Seryn, Sucre, and, of course, the Lumineers. I don’t know how anyone is immune to the folky charm of the Lumineers.

You may be tired of hearing “Ho Hey,” and, hey, that’s completely valid. But trust me, listen to this one. It’s a Blogotheque production, which means you know it’s good, and it’s a new song, which makes me a happy gal. And when you fall in love with them, watch Act One of their Take Away Show and maybe dance along a little.

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Ridiculous

For every love that’s lost I heard a new one comes

I wrote a stupid, long post just now and decided to save it for a (non) rainy evening when my head is clearer and eyes a little wider.

All I really want to say tonight is that it’s incredibly cool that I can lay in my bed, sneezing and sniffling and getting over being sick, and have the ability to watch fantastic videos of live music at its best. That’s all.

This is still one of my all-time favorite songs.
And it is still a beautiful thing when you love somebody.
That’s all.

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Ridiculous

Oh, the clouds are beginning to break

I may be sick and in bed, but that’s not going to keep me doin’ my thang.

IMG_8288I have zero experience with gouache, and my work with watercolor is limited to a few weeks during my senior year of high school when I quickly decided I simply didn’t have the patience for it. But I bought a few tubes of gouache last week and decided to dive in. In between sneezes and cough drops, I hand-lettered and painted a few lovely lines from the first track of Ben Gibbard’s newest solo album Former Lives, which came out in October but I just snagged a copy of. He’s a talented dude, and the album, while not Death-Cab-status good, is pretty incredible. I’m a shameless fan of almost everything he does (sorry, guys. I’m not much of a Postal Service fan) but this solo album is worth checking out, I think. Also, this:

 

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