I've mentioned The Damnwells at least once before. I think if ever I could say I have a "favorite" band, it'd be these guys. Their sound is a mesh of country and rock and pop and folk. The lyrics are usually pretty "high level" poetry with respect to the metaphors and phrasing, but the messages are sometimes pretty friggin' emo. I find a lot of them have sort of a naked honesty quality, and one less, um, whiney than stuff like this* or this**- they're more complex, I guess is the best way to put it. Also, while a lot of their songs are rather sad or what-have-you, they can also have fun and be silly sometimes. And yet whether serious or not, every song I've heard by them (and I think I've probably heard everything they have out so far) is pretty, for lack of a better word.
I hate that. "Pretty." That word has so much baggage attached, but it's the best word I can think of to describe what I hear. Like if you turned the music into a physical thing, it'd be admired and maybe sparkle.
Anyhoo, yeah. Like I said in the post from my own blog I linked just now, I know I want this song to be playing when I have my first dance as a married woman (if and when that happens- hope it's the latter):
"Tonight and Forever" follows my firmstanding belief that love is chock-full of oxymorons and paradoxes and dichotomies. That it's not always easy, and often involves risk. Pain shouldn't be the default, no, but one should also be ready for at least episodes of discomfort.
There are a lot of other songs by them I relate to on more than just the "I've sorta felt that way before" level. Alanis Morrissette is the only other act I can say that about, and I've blogged about two of her songs before. What I'm talking about is phrasing and themes I've felt and thought on my own, without the aid of the music to get me there. I'll prolly blog more about her in the future, but this post is dedicated to The Damnwells, and I actually take their songs too personal to blog about them individually. So I'll spat a few of particularly poignant meanings here and that'll be the end of it.
Another that's really important to me is called "Ragged Reprise;" it hasn't been on any albums except the soundtrack to their autobiography DVD that you can't actually buy (I have a copy, thank goodness) (and I somehow have the soundtrack, I think maybe iTunes?). So the best I can do is tell you what it's called and hope you find it somehow, sorry- I'm not linking to pirate sites on my blog. But the main refrain is, "So come, wrap me in sheets/ And walk me down all your streets/ And lead me from the darkness beneath/ Burn the light over me/ Sing this ragged reprise." I guess it relates to how I feel about people. The singer makes a lot of mistakes and is kind of broken, and is kind of scared of himself; and he basically begs for someone to understand him and ends up being dissatisfied. Because people suck- they let you down, they don't actually help you when you need it. They make you cry, they reject you, they turn away when you need them. The laundry list of shit I've lived through makes it so hard to relate to people, and even when I try to lean on them, it ultimately fails because I'm so... My shit is at a level that's just so far from anybody else. I just want to be forgiven for it all (as if I'm culpable for it, which I know isn't true- it's the guilt from pain), but even if it happens, I'm not as "whole" as the next person. Any "reprise" I get would, indeed, be "ragged."
So, new album?
They used a crowdsourcing website for their most recent album, one specifically for musicians, and they have another going for the one they're working on now. The site is called "Pledgemusic," and it works slightly different from Kickstarter in that you pick specific perks, rather than getting all previous ones a your donation increases.
Here is a link to the new album's page. Look and pledge.
When I pledged for the first one, I got a few hours' worth of extra music on top of the digital album. And a shirt, and a signed CD version of the album, too. I opted for the poster and the extra music part this time. I thought they were closer to the goal than this a few days ago, but I must have been mistaken. I hope they make it. As of this moment, they're at 63%.
*Yeah, this is the song with prolly THE MOST emo bit ever: "The truth is that you could slit my throat/ And with my one last gasping breath/ I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt."
**And don't get me wrong, I liked emo when it was new in the late 90s and early 2000s, and, frankly, I still do. It, too, has that kind of naked honesty, but it's youthful in its simplicity, a simplicity the Damnwells's breed of emo overcomes. I mean, they never reference "making out."
***The song linked there, another of Alex by himself, is actually the prettiest song I've heard in a LONG time; note it's only like two months older than "None of These Things." The point, though, is Alex and The Damnwells release great music, reliably so, and it blows other stuff out of the water.