On this site we write a lot about things that make us feel good––food, bargains, flowers. Well, here and now, I’m going to add love songs to our list of small, life-bettering luxuries. Not the syrup-y, saturated, tortured torch kind, but those that try to capture the state of being (as confused and incredible and liberating and frightening as it can be). DW, I’m sure, will agree that these are worthy of being included. If you’re in love (as DW and I are, which feels like a lot to say, but it’s true), sometimes there’s nothing better than indulging in it (I will not delete that sentence, though I am definitely tempted to).
There’s a lot of good stuff in these albums (sappy and not, for romantics and cynics alike). But since music-reviewing is something that a.) I have no talent for, and b.) I have little tolerance of, I’m simply going to break it down by artist and album. Starting with:
the antlers "hospice"
Hospice by The Antlers: When you buy this album set aside a good hour to listen––really listen––to it, reading the songbook as you go along (this is sort of imperative, and DW will agree). It is heartbreaking and haunting, and not always easy to listen to. But the terrible sadness and devotion is filled with love so crazy-strong, it’s impossible to look away. Buy it here. Listen to tracks “Two” and “Kettering” here.
blind pilot "3 rounds and a sound"
3 Rounds and a Sound by Blind Pilot: These glorious, melody-driven odes from this Portland, OR-based band bring on the greatest daydreams for me. JB and I have a complete fantasy life set to this soundtrack (don’t ask. Even he doesn’t know about it, yet). Buy it here. Listen to tracks “Oviedo” and “3 Rounds and a Sound” here.
the avett brothers "the second gleam"
The Second Gleam by The Avett Brothers: Today, while listening to Morning Becomes Ecclectic on KCRW Los Angeles via iTunes (my not-so-guilty pleasure), I was stopped in my tracks by a song called “Brooklyn, Take Me In” (for its lyrics; the song itself leaves a lot to be desired, too bad). But googling around I learned that the song’s Avett Brothers from Charlotte, North Carolina also sing this gorgeous tune called “Bella Donna,” which is on their 2008 EP called “The Second Gleam.” I think this one is best listened to while watching the video here. Those boys outdid their own beauty with this one, I think.