Apr. 27th, 2011 06:00 pm
[identity profile]

Nights Like These

: When I first heard this song, it was about three weeks ago and a few friends and I were lying on my couch, half-asleep, half-drunkenly discussing how music is the perfect art form. My friend Lindsay put on Lucero -- who I'd never heard of before -- and after a few of their punk-country-infused songs, I was somewhat unimpressed. His voice was getting annoying and there were no discernible melodies; everything was bleeding together -- and then! Nights Like These.

The opening notes made my eyes fly open. His voice suddenly worked perfectly. And was that a melody?! The slow, throbbing, broken feel of the song was something I hadn't encountered in ages, and never quite like this ----- it sounds like something from the 90s, but I can't quite put my finger on what (however, I've only recently realized I sometimes like country-influenced songs, so it's entirely possible I'm just not very well-versed in the genre -- regardless, I think this song would still stand apart). The Bacardi haze lifted a bit: "It's nights like these that make me sleep all's nights like these the saddest songs don't help." Eventually I sat up and just listened, as did all four of us: it was a really communal moment, all appreciating this perfect art form without speaking, understanding we were experiencing something inimitable. (So, of course, my first thought once it finished was "Steph needs to hear this!")

Listening to the song days later and clear-headed, it still has that Sit Up and Take Notice effect that I've come to expect from truly monumental songs. I still can't quite get over how well all the components work together -- that gratingly nasal, slurred, rawly emotional voice; the layers of guitar; the building of percussion over the chorus; the heartwrenching riff and the heartbreaking lyrics. It won't get stuck in your head but it'll get stuck beneath your skin, if that makes sense. It's got that unpolished intensity that tends to be so absent in so much music coming out these days, even and maybe especially in the indie scene -- it's not more of the same old same old, not more imitation or straight copying. Or, if there is, you don't notice, because the way it's constructed is so fucking honest it doesn't even matter.

Also: listening to the rest of the album, I feel like Lindsay was playing all the B-side rejects or something, because it's quite beautiful --- or maybe I'm just more open to it! Either way, worth a listen; I'm especially a fan of Sweet Little Thing.


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