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Painted From Memory

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  • Deep Dead Blue - Live At Meltdown Deep Dead Blue - Live At Meltdown Quick View

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    Deep Dead Blue - Live At Meltdown

    Import

    180 Gram Vinyl


    Available on Vinyl For The First Time


    A lovely, understated exercise in minimalism, Deep Dead Blue documents a set of otherwise unaccompanied guitar/vocal duets between Bill Frisell and Elvis Costello, recorded live at the Meltdown Festival in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on June 25, 1995.


    Frisell co-wrote the title track, one of the five songs bearing a Costello credit; the others are underexposed items from Costello's mid- to late-'80s catalog, plus selections by Charles Mingus (Weird Nightmare) and Lerner & Loewe (Gigi).


    Costello is once again the refined, mature vocal stylist of Painted From Memory, but Frisell expertly controls the dynamics of each piece, often stripping his part down to single-note lines, which lends surprising emotional impact when he allows full chords to wash over Costello's voice.

    1. Weird Nightmare
    2. Love Field
    3. Shamed Into Love
    4. Gigi
    5. Poor Napoleon
    6. Baby Plays Around
    7. Deep Dead Blue
    Elvis Costello & Bill Frisell
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Epitaph Epitaph Quick View

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    Epitaph

    Ever since forming 16 years ago, Irish trio God Is An Astronaut has reigned as one of the premier instrumental groups. With its fusion of intense rock instrumentation, ethereal and emotional soundscapes, awe-inspiring dynamics and transfixing melodies.


    Each of their prior releases has offered a breath taking sonic journey, and their ninth emotive opus, Epitaph, is a record that both sees a progression in their sound while still remaining true to their ethos that helped define the band. The cover artwork was painted by French artist Fursy Teyssier and fits the melancholic mood beautifully. Joined by long-time drummer Lloyd Hanney, contributions also come from Xenon Field on sound design and former member Jamie Dean on keys.


    The opening title track 'Epitaph' sets the album`s mood. There is pain and loss at work here, but not pain and loss that are given in to. Sparse piano motifs face energetic rhythms, shimmering guitar coatings, and eruptions of dense fury breathe life into a journey of melancholic longing: there is the release experienced when a troubled existence ends in 'Mortal Coil' followed by the somber foreshadowing that is 'Winter Dusk/Awakening'.


    The album changes direction slightly with 'Seánce Room' and the music on this highway is taking you someplace meaningful and special - someplace where near and far blur and stars weep over tragedies.


    'Komorebi' is a word from Japanese. Think of the interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees.The song has a melancholic longing or nostalgia for a person, place or thing that is far away from you or about to slip away.


    'Medea' references Greek mythology, and the enchantress who married Jason, leader of the Argonauts, only to be later guilty of filicide, a crime so against the natural order of things that you can imagine the stars in the sky weeping. It is not easy to confront such things, but this record and this band don't shirk the challenge.


    Finally, the beautiful and hypnotic piece of music that is the album-closing 'Oisín' is in memory of Torsten and Niels' 7-year-old cousin who was tragically taken from this world. It distills into four minutes all the pain, sadness and longing felt by many over a much longer timeframe. A fitting end to an album that will move you deeply and call out to you to be revisited many times.

    1. Epitaph
    2. Mortal Coil
    3. Winter Dusk/Awakening
    4. Seance Room
    5. Komorebi
    6. Medea
    7. Oisín
    God Is An Astronaut
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Best Of The Best Of Quick View

    $22.99
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    The Best Of

    Despite great acclaim at the time The Czars remain one of Denver's best-kept secrets. Over the course of their career they couldn't quite turn critical salvos into commercial success. Then, when the band split up in 2004 after their fifth album - the presciently titled Goodbye - nothing was heard from any member for six years. So when John Grant reappeared in 2010 with his landmark solo debut Queen Of Denmark, some thought he was a new artist, without a back-story that stretches as far back as 1994 when the band originally formed.


    The Best Of The Czars is made up predominantly from the run of three studio albums that Bella Union released between 2000 and 2004. Before But Longer donates the first four songs, 2002's The Ugly People Vs The Beautiful People the next six, and Goodbye the next five. The final track is an exquisite reading of Tim Buckley's signature standard Song To The Siren taken from 2005's B-sides/covers compilation Sorry I Made You Cry.


    Grant is his own fiercest critic, and says of all Czars albums he only stands by Goodbye. It's the only one that came anywhere close to being what I'd hoped for, he reckons. Out of the five albums we made, there's one good solid album of material. Well, John, here it is. But The Best Of The Czars isn't merely good; it's magnificent. At their best, The Czars mastered a luminous and stately country-folk'n'western noir shot through with a classic songwriting twist.


    On various tours since his solo debut, Grant has performed three old Czars tracks: Drug (from The Ugly People ), Paint The Moon and Little Pink House (from Goodbye). They're the Czars songs I most connect to in performance, that I'm proudest of, that flowed out of me as complete products, says Grant. As a whole, though, the band remains a conflicted memory for the singer. I had so much fear at the time, I wanted to try and control everything around me, which I feel affected my voice, he admits. Only now do I feel that voice is coming out of its shell, and that I'm comfortable in my own skin. But the music is an important part of my history, so it deserves to be heard.

    1. Val
    2. Concentrate
    3. Get Used To It
    4. Dave's Dream
    5. Roger's Song
    6. Drug
    7. Side Effects
    8. Anger
    9. Killjoy
    10. Lullaby 6000
    11. Paint The Moon
    12. Goodbye
    13. My Love
    14. Los
    15. Little Pink House
    16. Song To The Siren
    The Czars
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Offerings Offerings Quick View

    $29.99
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    Offerings

    If a Fellini film, a Bosch painting, and a Rorschach drawing had a collective sound, it would be Typhoon's new release. The 14-track record Offeringsis a musical and lyrical excursion into surreal imagery, eerie soundscapes, and an emotionally jarring narrative.


    The 70-minute album for Roll Call Records, which is the Portland, Oregon indie rock band's fourth studio album, centers on a fictional man who is losing his memory, and in turn, his sense of self. "I've always been preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory. I wanted to explore the questions: What does a person become if they don't know where they came from? What is the essential quality of the person if you strip away all memory?" explains singer/songwriter Kyle Morton.


    Motivated in part by his own preoccupation with "losing it," Morton also found a treasure trove of inspiration through various books, art, and film he was immersed in during the writing of this record. "I was watching a lot of David Lynch, and thought a lot about the Christopher Nolan movie, Memento, and Fellini's 8 ½.And there were a lot of books on my nightstand that played into this. It made it's a much darker album for sure," he says.


    Offerings is divided into four movements (Floodplains, Flood, Reckoning, and Afterparty) to represent the mental phases the main character goes through where he first realizes that something is wrong, then struggles through the chaos of his situation, and finally moves into acceptance before succumbing to his dreadful fate.


    "I wanted this record to be a journey, like Dante's Inferno. It kicks off with 'Wake,' where the character wakes up and he's shitting the bedand doesn't know what's going on. I was going for a specific feel that Samuel Beckett does so well," says Morton, who was reading Beckett's Three Novels, specifically Malloy, while writing the song's lyrics. "Beckett would call it a literature of impoverishment where he'd strip away as much as he could so he could get a feeling of essence and scarcity; that's what I tried to do musically and lyrically here."


    Mission accomplished. Morton also masterfully makes a parallel with the character's journey to the state of the world today starting with the second track, "Rorschach," which looks at the age of information and collapse of meaning.


    "But, by the third song, 'Empiricist,' there's a regression to the womb where the character is back in his bed at home,talking about his range of motion shrinking. This first movement ends with 'Algernon' [taken from one of Morton's favorite short stories, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes], where he's constantly awakening and in an interrogation with a woman-who the listener should know is his wife, but he doesn't."


    Musically, there is a sense of impending doom and chaos throughout the record that mirrors the character's fear and anxiety. "The claustrophobic feeling of only having the present moment and this sense of repetition is musically mirrored with this looping that runs though the record with a through line of choral parts that give it a darker, creepier feel," says Morton.


    To set the right tone for the story, Morton went for a less horns, more guitar approach. "We have a little bit of trumpet on this record and a lot of string arrangements. But we really strayed away from the horn arrangements. I wanted it to be a darker, more intense rock record, so it's very guitar-based. It's going back to my rock roots before Typhoon," says Morton.


    The concept of what the main character in the album is going through is also meant as a way of explaining cultural memory loss. "I was also reading historian Timothy Snyder and was inspired by his take on how America is at risk of losing their sense of history. If we haven't learned the lessons of our past, historically, we can't recognize when elements come back to haunt us, which is what's happening right now," he adds.


    One choral part ("Down in the floodplains waiting on a cure/ Blessed be the water/ May the water make us pure") was especially inspired by current politics. "I had Steve Bannon in mind quite a bit when I was writing these choral parts because I'm taking on this world view that I don't agree with, which is that the world needs a bloody struggle to reset -bring on the demolishing of order," he says.


    The character's downward spiral continues through the album's second movement, Flood, while in the third, Reckoning, comes the absolute-zero moment where the character is ready and willing to let go of life. Reckoning kicks off with "Coverings," which is the first song Morton ever co-wrote with a band member -Shannon Steele, who also sings on it. (Steele lends her vocals to the end of "Bergeron," as well.)


    "'Coverings' takes the story into the devil's mansion where all the rooms are the same representing this repeated infinite present with no reference. For me, this is Hell. And, at this point, our character has lost his marbles," he explains.


    "At the same time, on the worldly scale," continues Morton, "this is the point where we don't have any public trust and there's no cultural memory, there's just chaos. People are becoming identical in this collapse of meaning and you have no reference. If there is any point to this record it's that -Without reference, you have an interesting concept of infinity, which can be really bad."


    As the album comes to a close with the acoustic "Sleep," the character decides that instead of taking part of the chaos, he'd rather sacrifice himself. But there is light at the end of this dark, emotional journey. "The secret track, 'Afterparty,' is where he finds peace and freedom. It's his homecoming. He's on the other side of it now and has found his version of Heaven," says Morton.


    It's this level of intricacy in Typhoon's storytelling and musicianship that has helped Typhoon become one of indie rock's most revered bands. Their previous album, White Lighter, hit No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers Album Chart and got Best of The Year nods from NPR and Paste.Typhoon has brought their, at times, 11-piece live show on the road alongside indie rock peers The Decemberists, Portugal the Man and Grouplove, and sold out major clubs and venues across America.


    Adds Morton of Offerings, "I kind of wanted to make a dystopian record. If it's nothing else, it's that. If I could write my own one-line review, I'd think I'd want people to say, 'It's disturbing and unfortunately correct."

    1. Wake
    2. Rorschach
    3. Empiricist
    4. Algernon
    5. Unusual
    6. Beachtowel
    7. Remember
    8. Mansion
    9. Coverings
    10. Chiaroscuro
    11. Darker
    12. Bergeron
    13. Ariadne
    14. Sleep
    Typhoon
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Vision Crimes / Monomania Vision Crimes / Monomania Quick View

    $22.99
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    Vision Crimes / Monomania

    This album collects Child Bite's recent two sibling EP's into one brutal package. For years, we have watched Child Bite change, contort, and rearrange itself in to the gnarly powerhouse that exists in its current period. Their sound has become more abrasive over time then their spastic avant-pop beginnings.


    Within the rst few moments of Worship, you will nd yourself encouraged to "worship the father / slaughter the son" as well as "snip off the tip of the blasphemer's tongue." However you choose to interpret singer Shawn Knight's vocals, which are easily his most hostile to date, you wont escape the mood of this piece. And, the mood is that of 4 perplexed soldiers foraging for rushes of adrenaline to keep themselves alive while condemned to ght an unjust, unwinnable war.


    Wrong Flesh is a gritty battle march, which conjures memories of the Deadites storming the castle in search of the Necronomicon. From here, they take us down paths that are exponentially dark - with, No pussy shit as their credo. This is, in fact, the darkest and most mature effort we have seen from Child Bite. The shrilling, and impulsively head-bobbing verses of Scum Gene (Trash Vibrato) - are only rivaled in turpitude by Shawn Knight's lyrics; like those of Smear Where the Face Was that read: Drag behind or standing still - Impulse is fear, and fear you will. The lyrics, as a whole, paint a fuzzy picture of fear, paranoia, and despair.


    Bass player Sean Clancy expands on his unique style with brutal tones and syncopated rhythms that match the band's progression further into the macabre. Brandon Sczomak has made the switch from drums to guitar (who knew?). He has awlessly adapted to the precedent set by his predecessors, and he is taking it to fantastic new place. If you are a drummer and you are unfamiliar with Moshe Rozenberg (ex-DD/MM/YYYY), just buy this record right away. I would still listen to this record if it were only drums. The beats were also partly written and arranged during pre-production by Detroit drummers: Brandon Moss (Bars of Gold), Matt Rickle (Javelins/Fawn), Brandon Sczomak (current Child Bite guitarist), and Dave Vaughn (Detroit Cobras). The album was recorded with Chris Koltay of High Bias Recordings (Akron/Family) riding the faders. It was mastered by the infamous Weasel Walter (XBXRX, Flying Luttenbachers).

    1. Abysmal Splatter
    2. The Nerves
    3. Mutilation Revival
    4. Life As A Parasite
    5. Puke For The Youth
    6. Worship
    7. Save Your Scream
    8. Wrong Flesh
    9. The Nab Munch is On
    10. Smear Where the Face Was
    11. Vapor in the Orphan Loop
    12. Begin The Hiss
    13. Scum Gene (Trash Vibrato)
    Child Bite
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Point Of No Return Point Of No Return Quick View

    $34.99
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    Point Of No Return

    Point of No Return on Numbered Limited Edition 180 Gram Stereo LP from Mobile Fidelity


    Memories of You: Sinatra Waves Farewell to Capitol on Elegantly Dressed Standards Set from 1961


    Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Mobile Fidelity 180 Gram LP Captures Gracefulness of Ornate Orchestrations


    Sinatra Reunited With Arranger Axel Stordahl, Collaborator That Spearheaded the Voice's Rise in the 1940s


    Thematic Songs Address Goodbyes With Profound Sense of Sadness, Longing


    Nobody says goodbye like Frank Sinatra. For his final album with Capitol, Ol' Blue Eyes elected to croon an unforgettable selection of farewell songs marked with longing, sadness, and poignancy. To make the occasion even more special, he teamed with arranger Axel Stordahl, the virtuoso that helped launch Sinatra's star at Columbia during the 1940s. The results amount to one of the finest send-off statements in history.


    Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's numbered limited edition 180 gram stereo LP presents the songs as they should be experienced: In rich, lush, front-to-back sound in which the strings soar and literally inhale and exhale. Sinatra's singing, as good as it's ever been during his career, comes across with unfettered transparency and tonal purity. Such is the fidelity, the music turns into aural poetry, rendering completely fluid and tube-amp warm the rushes of strings, words, and structures.


    Sinatra fans continually debate which of the artist's albums rank as his best, but there's no doubting the status attached to Point of No Return. Unquestionably the most overlooked effort in the Chairman's Capitol catalog, it defies common expectation that it was made haphazardly to simply fulfill a contractual obligation. Sinatra's presence alone guarantees that isn't the case, yet Stordahl's involvement ensures this 1961 set is something very special indeed.


    The chemistry between the old collaborators is immediately evident. Sinatra inhabits every phrase, feeling, and expression conveyed on the dozen standards, achieving an intimate connection with Stordahl's instrumental accents. Akin to the downbeat moods he casts on the immortal In the Wee Small Hours and Only the Lonely, the vocalist keeps calm and cool, yearning and reflecting as if he's strolling a barren downtown after midnight, a man left alone with his thoughts and memories. Somber, wistful, meditative, teary-eyed sentimental-Sinatra paints each song with the emotions they need, nothing more and nothing less.


    From regal ("These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)") to nostalgic ("I'll Be Seeing You"), relaxed ("September Song") to dramatic ("When the World Was Young"), Stordahl's treatments blush with natural ease and instinct, setting up Sinatra for countless moments of sublime beauty. Vocal pop aficionados, you don't want to miss this classic.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. (Ah, the Apple Trees) When the World Was Young
    2. I'll Remember April
    3. September Song
    4. A Million Years Ago
    5. I'll See You Again
    6. There Will Never Be Another You
    7. Somewhere Along the Way
    8. It's a Blue World
    9. These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
    10. As Time Goes By
    11. I'll Be Seeing You
    12. Memories of You
    Frank Sinatra
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Divide Divide Quick View

    $29.99
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    Divide

    One of the most anticipated global releases of 2017, ÷ sees the 25-year-old in his finest form yet. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of experiences and subjects, Sheeran takes you through a hugely personal journey; be that reflecting on past relationships, family memories, his musical career or his time off traveling the world in 2016. Musically, ÷ is a varied collection of beautifully orchestrated and emotive ballads, impassioned raps laid over hip hop beats, timeless acoustic guitar masterpieces, and innovative, idiosyncratic pop music. Constantly on the move, the album was recorded between LA, London, Suffolk and while crossing the Atlantic aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2. Executive produced by multi-GRAMMY winner Benny Blanco and Sheeran himself with additional production coming from frequent collaborator Johnny McDaid, GRAMMY winner Mike Elizondo, and BRIT-award winner Steve Mac. Sheeran also created the album artwork concept for ÷ , even painting the cover himself.
    1. Eraser
    2. Castle On The Hill
    3. Dive
    4. Shape Of You
    5. Perfect
    6. Galway Girl
    7. Happier
    8. Hearts Don't Break Around Here
    9. New Man
    10. What Do I Know?
    11. How Would You Feel (Paean)
    12. Supermarket Flowers
    13. Barcelona
    14. Bibia Be Ye Ye
    15. Nancy Mulligan
    16. Save Myself
    Ed Sheeran
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Hard Times Are Relative Hard Times Are Relative Quick View

    $18.99
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    Hard Times Are Relative

    Our favorite songs are like one-night stands: passionate or sad, capable of recalling moments with Proustian power. Our favorite artists are lifelong companions: fixtures we turn to for comfort and highs.


    Over the last two decades, Jason Boland and the Stragglers have delivered and become both.


    "We've always just wanted to entertain ourselves and put out music that would be a part of people's lives, not just something passing to them," says Boland. "We want to be something more monolithic." He pauses and grins as he adds, "We're just a social experiment at this point."


    Boland is talking about the deep body of work he's created with his band of jangly honky-tonk aces, the Stragglers--Grant Tracy on bass; drummer and background vocalist Brad Rice; Nick Worley on fiddle, mandolin, and harmonies; and Cody Angel on guitar and pedal steel. Fronted and co-founded by Boland with Tracy and Rice, the band has featured only a handful of other members over the last 20 years, all of whom--whether they're currently Stragglers or not--are like brothers. As they've independently sold more than half a million albums, the outfit has packed iconic dancehalls, theaters, and other big rooms across the country.


    With their new record Hard Times are Relative, Boland and the Stragglers stack the smart, road-ready outlaw country longtime fans have come to expect alongside creative risks that flirt with punk and psychedelic sounds. The 10-song collection is a rare blend of instantly gratifying and rewarding of closer listens--a definitively Stragglers accomplishment. "It's an upbeat album--a lot of fast songs, but it doesn't try to be fast," Boland says with characteristic insight. "It just sits in the pocket."


    No one has combined Woody Guthrie's conscience with Waylon Jenning's panache quite like Boland and the Stragglers. Since debuting in 1999 with the Lloyd Maines-produced Pearl Snaps, the band has matured without taming their refreshing irreverence. "We always joke that we try to take as much as we can from Lloyd and apply it to producing our own records," Boland says. "We've worked with him so many times. The most obvious thing he taught us is: just be musical. Don't hammer through the songs like a garage band all the time."


    That mix of subtle musical sophistication and unruly Oklahoma junkyard pedigree has resulted in some of the best independent honky tonk in recent memory. "You just have to be where you are--keep plugging away and doing the best you can at any moment," Boland says, reflecting on their career thus far. "For a bunch of slackers [like us], that's not too terribly tough."


    Co-produced by the Stragglers, David Percefull, and Adam Odor, Hard Times are Relative is the band's ninth studio record. All songs were recorded live to tape and without the use of any computers--now a Stragglers' hallmark. Upbeat steel guitar kicks off album opener "I Don't Deserve You" before Boland's signature baritone thunders in, smooth and stronger than ever. When fellow sly honky-tonk champ Sunny Sweeney joins him in out-front harmonies, the two become the rootsy dream team you never knew you always wanted.


    The album's title track is a masterpiece: an epic story song about a young orphaned brother and sister depending on the land and one another. Rich details layered over strings paint a scene that's compelling and lush. The song has become one of Boland's favorites. "Folk music is hard to write. Country music is hard to write," he says, reflecting on the difficulty of spinning a long tale while keeping it simple and engaging. "When you hit your own little tuning fork in your head, that one is a hard sell, even to me. But I enjoy that song."


    "Right Where I Began" sounds like vintage Stragglers: clever wordplay and muscly guitars ready for two-steppers. Fiddle and vocal showcase "Searching for You" shows off Rice's and Worley's harmonies that are downright divine. Crunchy guitars drive "Dee Dee OD'd" as Boland offers another round of wry observations. Easy gem "Going Going Gone" makes a solid argument for fiddle in rock-and-roll as Boland deftly turns a baseball metaphor into a classic leaving song.


    Gorgeous waltz "Do You Remember When" bemoans some of modern life's emphasis on disposability and the dismissal of heritage. Rollicking "Tattoo of a Bruise" picks up the same idea, and is tongue-in-cheek country doo-wop, fueled by fiddle, steel, and drums. "I'm not judging anybody," Boland clarifies. "Our music has always called it like we see it, right or wrong, smarter or dumber."


    Praise for the past but acknowledgement of nostalgia's limitations is a career-long theme for Boland, and one that this record continues to carry. "We don't want to lose the chili recipes and the Schroeder Halls because people are moving on to faster, louder, and newer," he says. "But instead of just hemming and hawing, remembering what's old and gone, we want to have new experiences within those frameworks--make memories with what's left of the good stuff."


    With lines like "Empty pockets don't mean you need money / It's just another place to put your hands / And focus on that rock you've been kicking / One day it's going to be a grain of sand," "Predestined" challenges listeners as it soothes. The song is a lyrical victory for Boland, who's long-since become a master of distilling heady ideas into digestible nuggets.


    Penned by Oklahoma music godfather Randy Crouch, "Grandfather's Theme" serves as the album's climactic closer. Attacked with psychedelic ferocity by the band, the song picks up the record's recurring concepts of the ground's insistence on shifting, inevitability, and our complex relationship with the past. Stripped down as Boland sings, the song soars off into a trippy, robust jam-band send-off--a serious triumph especially considering it's a defiantly analog recording. "We're fighting the digital world because they can make it so huge," Boland says, discussing the balancing act of filling out songs while letting them breathe. "I'm really proud if what we did."


    As he mulls over where the Stragglers have been and where they're headed, Boland comes back to one idea over and over again: he and his band are who they are, and with that genuineness comes grit, beauty, and staying power. "We're fortunate that we're not trying to fool anybody," he says. "That's what it comes down to. We're all loners but somehow a team. Now that I can look at it all, I can see: it's been fun."


    Here's to the next 20 years.

    1. I Don't Deserve You
    2. Hard Times Are Relative
    3. Right Where I Began
    4. Searching For You
    5. Do You Remember When
    6. Dee Dee OD'd
    7. Going Going Gone
    8. Tattoo of a Bruise
    9. Predestined
    10. Grandfather's Theme
    Jason Boland & The Stragglers
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • I Know What Love Isn't I Know What Love Isn't Quick View

    $17.99
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    I Know What Love Isn't

    Tracey Thorn wrote a song that reached Jens Lekman in the early stages of his new album, I Know What Love Isn't. In her song she sang Oh Jens, oh Jens/your songs seem to look through a different lens/you're still so young, love ends just as easy as it's begun. A touching moment for the Swedish songwriter, having been a fan since his teens. But it came to him in a time when he found himself very confused and in doubt. He was changing and, subsequently, so were his songs. They weren't looking through that lens anymore.



    I Know What Love Isn't came out of a break up, something Jens didn't see as worth writing about at first. The songs began more fleeting than the last go around, on his 2007 album Night Falls Over Kortedala. The songs began building from images and memories and soon began to take their own route, one that Lekman wasn't privy to their destination.



    In The World Moves On he paints a picture of a sweltering summer in the city of Melbourne where he lived while writing and recording the album. The hot days that led up to the Black Saturday bushfires, but also more mundane images of feeding possums in a park or getting in trouble with some guy on a scooter. It seems to lead nowhere at first but the aimlessness in itself reaches heartbreaking conclusions later on, summed up by the soaring chorus and you don't get over a broken heart, you just learn to carry it gracefully. Like Joan Didion once said that she writes entirely to find out what she's thinking, Jens wrote until he caught up with his thoughts. And of course they led him right back to the break up.



    Musically, I Know What Love Isn't chooses an economic route. From the vast palette he created for Kortedala, he's only chosen a few somber colors this time around. There are strings but not a string section, an upright piano and not a grand, a single saxophone and gracenotes from a flute. The songs are lighter, almost aerodynamic, Jens explains, I wanted the songs to take off almost unnoticeably, where the chorus is separated from the verse only through a small detail like a tambourine or a harmony. Like when you're in an airplane taking off and you look out the window and realize you're already in the air.



    A dry country piano makes Become Someone Else's lift high. Vocals from Melbourne singer Sophie Brous makes the chorus in Erica America soar. Strings pick up the title track and send it up to the sky without much effort or force. In the latter, Lekman once again points the way to distill essential truths from every day life vignettes while singing about a sham marriage. I thought of the Friday nights when I'd be cruising up and down the street with my best friend in her old crappy Holden, talking about getting married to get me into the country.



    The idea was so appealing, that we would build this constructed relationship around a purpose rather than some vague feeling that could change at anytime. But in the end, the sham marriage is much too great a story to be kept secret. At least when you make a living from telling stories. And that's what I Know What Love Isn't is. A collection of songs that grew to a story that had to be told. A story that is not new, but essentially human. The story of the grey areas of love that you have to excavate and explore, using the method of exclusion, to find out what love is.

    1. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
    2. Erica America
    3. Become Someone Else's
    4. She Just Don't Want To Be With You Anymore
    5. Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder
    6. I Want A Pair Of Cowboy Boots
    7. The World Moves On
    8. The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love
    9. I Know What Love Isn't
    10. Every Little Hair Knows Your Name
    Jens Lekman
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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