I’ll admit: I’m not a music writer. I don’t have the right vocabulary for it yet — but practice supposedly makes perfect, and if there is anything to come out of this notion of re-integrating my life and sharing thoughts and reflection, it will be at least to generate lots of practice.
I like to try out all kinds of music. I often treat eMusic like Wikipedia, moving from one loose connection to another, ending up miles from where I started. I don’t know how I stumbled upon Woven Hand’s Blush Music, but I’ve very glad I did.
But how to describe this music? I could have started with something that I could at least state the genre of, but I basically picked an unheard album at random, threw on the iPod, and went for a walk. I could definitely see using the word folk to describe some of the music — particularly when the banjo makes its appearance. The opening track (“Cripplegate”) feels like an alternative theme to the classic Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. One might also consider the rest of the album to be found in other parts of the galaxy.
The second track (“Animalitos”), for example, is a 14-minute movie, wandering in and out of an echoey, progressive-folk song with dirgy qualities (the main refrain is “when she leaves those thing alone”, I think). In between these snatches of music are birds, soft gravel-grinding, laughter, shrill folksy strings and more. In short: fantastic.
The album continues along this path for the rest, but there is more singing. I admit: I’m not generally into music for the singing. I hear the music, but the words in my own head tend to drown out the coherence of any lyrics, leaving them just so much more music. In this case, the lyrics are sung by a restrained male voice, like a cross between mild Lou Reed and a sombre Nick Cave, but neither as deep nor as dark. There don’t appear to be many lyrics, either, most songs being nearly instrumental, experimental in nature.
The music is sprinkled with unusual sounds that cut across, metallic scrapes or tingles. It has was sounds like a bass, what sounds like ropes tying boats up a dock, shifting with the slow rise and fall of the water. It ranges from unmistakably depressive rock to the edges of folk-rock and experimental. It never seems cheery, but never gloomy either. It feels like the end of the day, when the weather gets cold and the sun goes out, before night has claimed the world. It feels like a chilly rain creating clear streams rolling over rounded stones.
I can see listening to this album repeatedly.