Lately I’ve been swimming around mostly in pools of the musical past. Whether it’s the Louvin Brothers wonderful country harmonies from the ’50s, Fairport Convention and 13th Floor Elevators swirling up the ’60s, Fleetwood Mac and Todd Rundgren pounding tight, clean ’70s melodies, Kate Bush and Felt pumping up the ’80s, or Lilys and Pavement getting fuzzy and loose in the nineties, I’ve been mainly looking (well, listening, really) backwards.
And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. All of the groups mentioned above have been wonderful to soak in. They are all fantastic and timeless in their own ways. And there’s so much more music from years past that I’ve yet to discover.
But it’s also wonderful to dive into something new, and I think I’ve resisted that lately when it comes to music. So, since I’m now in this biggest of musical pools (NYC), I took a leap into Brooklyn’s High Places and their self-titled album that came out last week. It’s described below in my inaugural “30-word review,” but since writing that I’ve been coming back to one song over and over, so I figured I’d single it out.
It’s called “From Stardust to Sentience.” That title has so much wince potential, but once you’ve heard the song, it blossoms into a beautiful and tingling little sentence fragment. Sound flickers into existence. The lyrics, like the music, are aptly minimal but delicately potent. The song echos, expands and contracts like a natural fluid organism. And (the most wonderful thing of all) you don’t even think about these things when you’re just listening. Your ears just take it in. A little ambience, a little pop, a little electricity, and the universe materializes, dances its dance, and sinks back into your mind.