Tuesday, December 5, 2006


#17 The Violet Hour - The Clientele (Merge/Pointy 2003)


As we scribble towards the loneliest number, this album reminds me that I'm never alone if my memory is alive and kicking. This trio from England uses the mind/memory as the key to turn out some seriously hazy pop gems. The past comes alive again in a charmingly lovely, delicately hazy, tenderly charmingly lovely fashion. Alasdair MacLean's voice is seriously saturated in reverb throughout- I'm talking dripping wet. And so the album has an 'old' feel to it, or it's like he's broadcasting from somewhere else.

I first heard 2 songs as I was doing my courier route in downtown Durham listening to WXDU in '03. I had to call the d.j. and find out what I was hearing. I ended up soaking it up for the entire fall. And what a great time to first hear it. My dad and I used to take long walks, sometimes without much said. This album seems like it could be drawn from those aimless meanderings where you're not thinking about or noticing anything, but after awhile you realize you're noticing everything and playing games with the surroundings in your mind. The title after all is The Violet Hour, and so most of these memories come easily cascading down with the haze of an early morning or dusk. Alasdair remembers everything from the sunlight in an empty house, to sitting in a girlfriend's mother's waiting room, to pressing his face against the car window watching the lampposts, to watching the moon coming up through the trees, to spending a day with a girl- who's disappeared by the end of the song , to finally noticing a policeman getting lost in the fog. My favorite tracks would be 'Missing', 'House on Fire', and 'Everybody's Gone'...

1 comment:

daniel.brantley said...

reading this makes me ashamed to be a writer. i don't really know what i'm doing.

great story, brother. want some roast beef?