Art inspired by music - I did some work for Forage Press recently. The full article can be viewed here.
PRAY FOR MYSELF AGAIN
How To Dress Well’s Total Loss is my favourite album from last year. Tom Krell’s voice is like a warm blanket, that is wrapped tightly around my soul, a gentle and honest presence. The second track Cold Nites is about the preservation of love through challenges, through our shifting lives and the ability it has to give us a sense of purpose and make us feel truly whole.
I never really get hit in the heart by songs that tell me what’s going on and what to feel. I want to be shown something live and real, not told something. Moved by an energetic affect (a deep experience, an ambiguous situation, an image of a moment of emotional intensity, a moment of true heart or peace or love or desperation) I set out to make my songs. And, for me at least (and I think this holds universally but I can’t be sure), often times these intense affects happen right at the edge of language: I don’t have words or a pre-set code to get a grip on these affects (this is after all what makes them feel intense!). And so in my songs I move back and forth between:
A singing which is direct and pronounces words, which give me and the listener a certain foothold, some signifiers with which we are acquainted and with which we can begin to see in the dark & a singing which is impressionistic or expressive, tracing the contours of shapes which I do not yet know, and which I may never know. Singing that feels out shapes, that makes its own shapes, and that isn’t a translation of affect but tries to be or produce affects—- this might be impossible but I want to keep trying :+)
I want these two together, all the time. To sing my way towards affects which exceed language but do not exceed the power of the voice, it’s warbles and whispers, even its words.