Music Monday :: my thoughts on Oh Man, Cover the Ground

25 May

Quoth NPR: “As Cleveland has explained it, this record is the soundtrack to ‘being inside your own head all the time in the outside world.'”  Well, okay, Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles.  Let’s do this.

“Butter & Eggs.” Oh, here’s maybe some of that twang I’ve been jonesing for.  I also saw comparison to Thao Nguyen in the short preface.  There’s a sort of introspective melancholy to this, but it’s not overwhelming.  It’s just right.

“Holy Rollers.”  I’m also very into these long intros.  This is just this interesting twang with sprinklings of jazz piano underneath occasionally.  This sparse little story with a sense of build to it, this thing I can’t quite describe but I am here for it.  Long summer nights, driving, starlight, etcetera.

“Oh Man, Cover the Ground.”  I will probably need to read these lyrics, as she’s soft enough that I’m missing things here and there, but I like what I’m hearing.  The NPR article described this as a lullaby and I’m sort of getting that vibe from the whole album so far.  Twang is just easy to tilt that way.

“Itching Around.”  This sort of reminds me of driving around with grown-ass men picking the music when I was a kid, like, my dad or my friends’ dads, except it’s a woman singing instead of a grown-ass man, so that makes my ears happier.

“Potato Chips.”  There are no coherent thoughts to be had.  This is just very pretty and pleasant and soothing, sort of.

“Golden Days.”  “Who can say the time is right cutting across the country lines” I think it’s lines I lose it there but this is nice and vaguely eerie.  Now I’m sort of itching to go listen to Thao and Mirah, actually.  I might do that afterward.  This is nice though!  It really is.

“(Death Riff).”  Well this is a title that intrigues me!  The parenthetical in particular.  I’m wild for things like that.  Instrumentation!

“SPATM.”  And the parenthetical instrumentation kicks into this track very nicely.  This is moody and listen to that guitar though, that twangy moody guitar.  Wonderful.

“Rounding the Block.”  This one is more understated, tipping toward a thoughtful sort of place.  I completely understand that comment about introverted music, essentially.  It’s very useful for that.  I feel like this could be an album I accidentally play a lot of times because it’s just good background.

“City to City.”  This is nowhere near as moody as Mirel Wagner, but it’s just moody-twangy-voicey enough that I can pull it up over myself like a blanket and sigh happily as I settle into it.

“Sucking Stones.”  And the guitar is right enough that yes, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for these last weeks, this introspective twangy art-guitar brilliance.  Very beautiful.  The guitar is its own melody and that’s lovely.

“Quiet as Skin.”  This veers more Western than Southern in its Gothic Americana tendencies, but it’s just lovely twang overall.  It’s sort of meandering, but in a very “journey not destination” sort of intentionally intentionless way.

“Change in the Ocean.”  Blanketing once again.  Music blankets always feel very safe, even when they’re not entirely happy.  This twang is beautifully intricate.

–your fangirl heroine.



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