close your eyes
 
[music, albums]

XVIII: 1995 SParKLeHOrsE-VIVADIXIESUBMARINETRANSMISSIONPLOT


Sparklehorse-Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot

I continue surprising myself when choosing my favourite albums on a year by year base. 1995 was such a safe bet before having relistened to anything from my top ten. Yo La Tengo who have been one of my most beloved bands for many years released Electr-o-Pura, their most hypnotic record with the melancholic drone monster Blue Line Swinger as the closer. Maybe I know them too well by now. Electr-o-Pura was too predictable to be no.1. The first surprise from 1995 was Vic Chesnutt's warm and folky songwriter gem Is the Actor Happy? which I almost forgot in the poll. There was also the first album Boire by Miossec, the troubadour from Brittany who came from nowhere and made the most urgent French album since Gainsbourg.

In the end I settled for Mark Linkous debut with the strange compounded one word name. As it combines catchy touching guitar tunes with experimental not listener-friendly songs like no other release I know of from 1995. There is a lot of variety in this record and it still holds together amazingly well. I don't know a thing about Linkous but he must be an autodidact to make music so totally apart from the rest of the world. And he must be totally nuts as well.

My kingdom for a horse
The first song Homecoming Queen sets the tone. A slow fragile piece on acoustic guitar with weird scratching noises in the background which turn into a music box theme near the end.

The parasites will love you when you are dead
The bass enters. Deceleration to slowcore speed. Gravity takes hold of us.

Two-ninety-two to five-o-one camshaft
Some airport tower speech bit.

Sometimes he awakens with spiders on his eyelids
Linkous voice is distorted by now. Neil Youngish guitar fuzz. Self-indulgent. You bet.

I want my records back
A tender acoustic guitar. Don't resist. Just let yourself be enveloped by such beauty.

I couldn't do nothing but watch when her tears fell on fresh fruit
An alternation of speed. Hard rocking stuff hitting you right on your head. Short and not so sweet.

A day dream. A love song. Surreal and down to earth at the same time.

Lighting cigars on electric chairs
Banjo time. In cowgirl country. A sweet baroque country blues ballad. Not to forget the mouth-harp. The slowing down at the end. Without collapsing. Morphing into a strange found sounds instrumental.

Hey little dog, can you fly?
Just an interlude.

You are the most beautiful widow in town
Words fail me by now. Acoustic guitar treasure.

Satan would laugh at her screams
Finally the pedal-steel arrives. And we have a sweet-sour country ballad with a morbid plot. Fittingly seguing into an instrumental full of noisy sounds.

I left my baby on the side of the highway
She just couldn't see things my way
The saddest song. Grabbing you by your balls. Rocking out your heart.

It's a sad and beautiful world
Give me some more pedal-steel. Let the world go under in beauty. You know it makes sense.

Yes your hair smells like sunshine today
It's all over. Everything is fine. Let's ride those gasoline horses. To where?

Here is the overview of the series 40 years, 40 albums of which part XVIII was this post.


 





 
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