Monday, September 26, 2016

Song of the Day #340 - Bon Iver - 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ (Extended Version)

And I cannot seem to find I'm able

Bonny Bear day is approaching. Are you ready for the next p4k 10? I'm going full-on no-spoilers mode, dodging the leak that I heard had Facebook messenger sounds (again proving the Venn diagram of "those who get high profile leaks" and "those competent enough to leak things properly" is basically two circles) and not watching the live performance everyone is gushing about. It's not even no-spoilers, really, as much as it is... just being so satisfied with listening to the three tracks I have that wanting more already seems gluttonous.

I already talked at some length about how impressed I was with the first single, but, as is often the case, it was the moment that I started hearing this one that I was actually convinced, this is the one that showed me the range he was willing to go with this new sound. The first song could always be a fluke, an outlier, but something this different and yet so clearly fueled by the same artistic mentality is proof that that mentality is so robust and fertile that we're looking at a WHOLE ALBUM of it, we're looking at a p4k 10 album of it hahahaha.

There's a lot of overlap between this and "Over Soon", and escalations too. The unicode in the former has evolved to full on EMOJI, in a move that not even witch house could have anticipated. Not since Commie put the 100 emoji directly in their fansubs have I seen this sort of typographical boldness. And the spaced camel caps, too, are inherently memetic, S A D B O Y S and PeNgUiN oF DoOm all that, but the actual meaning here is all the more mysterious through these immediate connections. Like, you know it has nothing to do with those memes, but then... What does it actually mean? What was the pre-meme significance? It is a chillingly difficult line of thought.

The same thing happens with the elements of the music itself - there's still this sample and loop based construction, but all the roles have been switched. Instead of the dreamy "positive drone" sound of "Over Soon", we get dense, dark, industrial beats. The pitched-up crying vocals sound like those that reminded us of Disney classics, but now the context is so different, we're forced to confront exactly what triggered those memories, what still remains common, what it signifies now... Is it some sort of ura-Disney, the dark inverse of the same mechanics? Or some primordial proto-disney, one only revealed by discovering a new branch on the evolutionary tree? Same goes for the enduring saxophone: the emotional tenor couldn't be more different, but it still hits all the marks of the iconic saxophone sound we heard before - instead of yearning and nostalgic, it's urgent, apocalyptic -  and is just as evocative. So what memories do we have of this saxophone? What world has it emerged from?

It is a maddeningly incomplete thought process, luring you into dreams, or maybe nightmares, that you had forgotten for a reason. The lyrics reflect this struggle, too, with irresolvable dualities of things like feverish/fever-rest, fuckified/fuck if I'd, or dismay at the irreconcilablity - the climactic "I cannot seem to find I'm able". At least I think that's what's going on, these lyrics are crazy, they could be about anything lol. Actually this whole album is crazy. And the best is yet to come!

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