Sometimes the right new video or song or press release or whatever hits you on just the right day, and you don't feel so bad for just posting it. This morning, there's a new music video making the rounds for Arcade Fire-associated violinist and avant popster Owen Pallett's "The Great Elsewhere," a song off his excellent album Heartland from last year. Heartland was the sort of album I liked well enough, but had mostly listened to out of a sense of critical obligation--I like Pallett all right, but had just never found myself fanatical about him, although he's obviously a ridiculously gifted composer, singer, and performer of icy, delicate orchestral pop.
Today's new video for this old song probably isn't going to thrust Heartland into my daily rotation, which is likely my loss, but at this moment, it's hitting me perfectly. The opening lines, "Talking/What's it good for?/Absolutely nothing" (perhaps the most affecting Edwin Starr reference in the history of indie rock) and "Wrestle/Let's wrestle/You can pin me to anything" speak to a certain strain of isolated helplessness blues I've been feeling, and the fast-fluttering synth arpeggios and skittering, shushing, then finally rushing drum programming feel just right with the weather outside this window.
Also, the line "Let's wrestle" reminds me of this great old Joan of Arc song:
The feelings couldn't be further apart, of course. The Joan of Arc song is foggy-eyed but flirtatious, rolling around in the sheets, "We know we can't quite kiss yet/Let's wrestle." "The Great Elsewhere" feels like something slipping away (especially as the song speeds up), mournful of some quickly increasing distance. At least, that's my sad-bastard read on it this morning. (The video I'm not sure about--it definitely feels frigid, and there's a certain unspooling-home-movie-reel feeling to it that could trigger some pangs of loss or nostalgia if you were prone to such things.) Your melancholy may vary.