Sunday, 20 July 2008

Sao Paulo

"Sao Paolo" The Guillemots

I didn't want to like the Guillemots, the critics raved about them (particularly the quality newspapers...never a positive sign), their singer is called Fyfe Dangerfield. It all just seemed a bit studied, a bit false. Despite this I bought the album, and I thought it was......okay, still a bit too studied. I recently saw them on the same bill as Neil Young (somewhere closer to my true tastes) and was proven massively wrong, they were dynamic, energetic, vibrant (Best band on the bill, damn right!!) and most of all confident. "Sao Paolo" took up nearly a fifth of their set and I was mesmerised. Returning almost immediately to the album I listened to it again and again. It starts simply, minor key, wintry in it's feel. Some lovely images " don your duffle coat quite slowly". It's tender, maybe a song to an ex lover maybe the tale of a relationship drifting apart? This idea is given further weight when he starts a keening refrain "I could Cry for Miles...." so far so indie pop, then we travel- musically, mentally whatever....... as the strings reach a crescendo the song falls away, then we are transported as Fyfe sings "thrown across water like a stone"... it's major key, triumphant. The piano rises above horns which slide and dance between the notes until the strings crash back in against some of the most musical screeching you'll ever hear. It's what music should be multicouloured, ambitious, dramatic, epic. Every time I listen to it I feel refreshed, the sun on my face and transported (that word again, ultimately I think it is a song about escape so I feel justified to overuse it!). I think songs about places should transport you for 4 minutes you should feel a connection to the place, you should be able to close your eyes and feel foreign winds on your face. Sao Paulo does this, as do two other songs I love Sufjian Stevens' "Chicago" and Fleet Foxes "Mykonos". Chicago is a giddy rush of a song, cymbals crash, strings surge and voices all rush towards the end. Mykonos is less urgent than the other two, but the beautiful harmonies are sun dappled and flash images of azure skies and seas (despite being recorded in Seattle). Music should be a journey and the best ones are always unplanned.....

For Your Pleasure

The Guillemots- Sao Paulo mp3
Fleet Foxes- Mykonos mp3

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