Il cantante/chitarrista dei Barbarisms fa Faraone di cognome ma non fatevi ingannare: Nicholas è americano, il suo trio è svedese e il loro secondo album Browser è uscito in Italia per la neonata label romana A Modest Proposal. Viaggi tra i confini nazionali a parte, quel che è certo è che, dopo l’esordio omonimo di un anno e mezzo fa, la band è tornata con un disco ancor più bello, in cui pop e folk si congiungono con maestria, cura per i particolari e immediatezza. Una delle colonne sonore ideali per questa primavera così bizzarra e ammaliante. Schiaccia play e poi leggi il track-by-track (anche in inglese).
I used to love reading interviews and would hate when songwriters wouldn’t describe their songs so that their fans could have “their own experiences.” I wanted the inside dope, I wanted the dirt… I wanted to know whatever so-and-so songwriter knew so that I could write songs like that too. Or at least I wanted to make sure I wasn’t a fool for feeling a certain way about a certain song (which was foolish of me). Anyways, I can’t pretend to have any “inside dope” any more than I can pretend to have enough of an audience to use that slightly condescending word -“fans.” But I can still write things about these songs, helpful or otherwise.
Appetito & Rimpianti.
I thought of the poet/translator Ernest Dowson, who “cried for madder music and stronger wine” and was dead by 33. And I thought about King Lear asking Gloucester if he could see how the world goes… and Gloucester (with his eyes gouged out) saying that he saw it, “feelingly.”
Il tuo migliore amico che si innamora della ragazza con la quale sei cresciuto e tu che lo incolpi della sua morte e lui che ti trova in Europa.
Lost Positions is a story song, the story goes like this: your best friend falls in love with a girl you grew up with, you blame him for her death, and he comes to find you in Europe. It’s a fairly long song, so it had room for stuff like drugs, love, politics and maybe forgiveness.
I HAVE NOT SEEN YOU IN DAYS
You come home, your clothes are wet and you think you’ve discovered something.
“I could be bounded in a nutshell … ” come diceva il buon Amleto.
What are Prison Rules? Isn’t one Prison Rule that on your first day you are supposed to crack the skull of the toughest motherfucker in the cafeteria? Or else “somebody’s going to eat your lunch?” Isn’t this a rule of The Real World too? Well, what’s a guy to do, “crawling between earth and heaven?”
OLDER THAN BIRDS
Amore & Turismo.
I wrote this song in an airport. I was thinking about the tourist and antique shops around the Louvre. I was on my way to spend some time in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the only “old” song on the record, from about 7 years ago when I used to fill notebooks with exotic words I never would use.
RICO OF THE WHITE NIGHTS
Poeti romantici & TV Detectives & Inverno/Estate in Svezia.
Instead of putting Don Juan in hell, I put Rico Suave in mid-summer Sweden. Because I grew a little weary of metaphors about Swedish “darkness.” And I wanted to tell a story like a TV detective.
ICE STORM #2
Famiglia & Alcool (Una lunga giornata di viaggio nella notte).
I have two people to thank for this song, Simon Stålhamre and Eugene O’Neill. Simon wrote a song called Ice Storm. I loved it so much I had to write one of my own. O’Neill wrote a play in which the mother is addicted to morphine, the father is an actor who thinks he’s wasted his talent for easy money and women, and their two sons aren’t much better. One’s dying of tuberculosis and the other is an alcoholic, out-of-work, ladies man.
I WOULD NOT ASK
I like songs with a lot of words in them, but I’m becoming more interested in the very simple and almost child-like things we say to each other when we don’t know what to say to each other.
Filosofia & Superstizione & Gioco D’Azzardo.
First the question: how would I live if I knew I would have to live every aspect of this life over again, for eternity? Then the question: well what if that’s what I am doing? And then the question: well who’s life is it that I keep living over and over again, anyway? I don’t have a mind rigorous enough for philosophy. I tend towards superstition. And this can be tricky when it comes to writing. Sometimes you write things down and then they happen, and maybe you didn’t want them to happen.
Una ricetta per la solitudine.
A recipe for solitude.