Wednesday, April 08, 2009

if you leave it alone

I've already used this blog at length to extol the virtues of the quite stupendous Wave Pictures, who I think are making the best records in the world at the moment. That's not going to stop any time soon.

Perhaps I'm summoning up memories of a fictitious Willy Wonkafied youth here, but I have a probably-false memory of buying chocolate bars and eating them one corner, one segment at a time when I was a child, unwilling to gorge on the whole thing in one go, savouring every mouthful.

That's how I feel about the new Wave Pictures album, which I'm rationing out as a kind of penance for my having illegally downloaded it (I'll buy a copy when it comes out) and as a kind of tease - because I'm frightened that it'll be so good that I won't need another record again this year. So I've only listened to the first three or four songs so far, getting to know them back to front, chewing delightedly on every detail and nuance.

The first track, 'If You Leave It Alone', is transparently one of the best things that Dave Tattersall and co have ever done, but repeated obsessive listens are driving me bit crazed and reaching blindly for superlatives. Like a lot of their stuff, it's achingly simple - little more than a beat, a bass line and a beautiful, tender vocal, but the genius is in the melody and, particularly, the lyric - which, from behind Tattersall's usual oblique wordplay, reveals an absolutely beautiful insight into his song-writing process, which is deliberately straight-forward, unforced, natural.

Once a song is written, it's written, and is just left to sit until it is needed. And like wine, or meat left to hang, it becomes richer and better with age.

Here's the key verse. I can't tell you how beautiful I think it is.

"Now I'm full up with lessons learned
and the days that I made just to throw them away.
Now I'm closing all the curtains, I'm switching off the phone,
now I took down all your cameras and I opened the fridge...
and hung from the hinges with the eggs and garlic,
the cheese and tomatoes, the milk and the beer,
the strings and the bridges of a brand new year;
The first tear was a note and the note made a song,
and I hung the song from the hinges of the door,
then I carried on just the same as before.
And nothing got different, and nothing got changed,
but a new tune gets sweeter and simpler with age
if you leave it alone".

Not much more I can add to that. That for me is reason enough to love the Wave Pictures, unconditionally, forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey, happened to click through from the blur forum. love the wave pictures too!!! saw them live last week they were amazing..if you don't mind...could you let me know where you got the download of their new album? i promise i'll buy a copy when it's out... if you prefer to keep silent then fine, sorry to bother you. my email is
thanks. :)