November 29, 2009

remember how we fell upon an accident of paradise

doveman

I first listened to this song because The National told me to; New York City artist Doveman (aka Thomas Bartlett) is their longtime friend and collaborator, and here The National return the favor by essentially becoming his backing band on a gorgeous album, which they released on their own Brassland Records.

This song is a stinging arrow of beautiful ache, melancholy and somehow lovely. I relate to the way it weaves a dense layer of complex feelings, looking back at promises of magic somewhere amidst the whiskey sea.

Angel’s Share (with Matt Berninger) – Doveman

You always played a stonewall game
but I’ll get past you anyway

a flick of the wrist and it’s straight through your heart
when you’re feeling sad
remember how we fell upon an accident of paradise

So drink your fill, pretty baby
drink down that whiskey sea
and drink your fill, my darling
but save the angel’s share for me

If I were drowning, baby
drowning in your deep blue sea
if you want to rescue someone blue…
please don’t rescue me



In addition to Matt Berninger’s haunting baritone on the album, other collaborators include National bandmates the Dessner brothers and Bryan Devendorf, as well as Beth Orton, Martha Wainwright, Nico Muhly (of this) and Glen Hansard of The Frames/Swell Season (who I see tonight). It packs a pretty immense punch.

This living room performance with string quartet, trumpets, and guest appearances by Sean Lennon and Bryce Dessner was from the album release party last month. The simplicity and spare sadness of this rendition made me cry. Or maybe it’s just something in the air.

[more pics here]



Doveman just completed a string of tour dates opening for the Swell Season, but is sadly not still with them tonight for their Denver show. The only current tour dates listed are a handful of shows in New York.

The Conformist is out now on Brassland Records. As Hansard says of it, “The Conformist is just fucking beautiful. Thomas brings so much light to other people’s music, it’s great to see him stop long enough to apply that light to his profound sense of song. He’s not afraid to go in, in where the good stuff is, in where you might get lost without a compass — in and deeper in.” Here’s to compasses, and where the good stuff is.

7 Comments »

  • I first listened to it because of the voices in my head but now realize it was the national directing my thoughts.

    Mike — November 29, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

  • amazing how they can do that.

    browneheather — November 30, 2009 @ 7:49 am

  • [...] remember how we fell upon an accident of paradise remember how we fell upon an accident of paradise [...]

    remember how we fell upon an accident of paradise « www.beth-orton.net Blog — November 30, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  • You’re right to say that this is “a gorgeous album”. It’s superb. Thanks for the tip-off about it.

    ChrisHol — December 1, 2009 @ 4:55 am

  • Saw this guy before The Swell Season in Vancouver. Depressingly pretty songs that made me feel like I was in a small swanky piano bar, not an 1800 seat theatre.

    The best part was when he played a medley of songs from the Footloose soundtrack (imagine them sung in the style of the song you posted above – hilarious!). He said he knew all the songs because his best friend once asked him to record his renditions as a birthday gift. How I’d love to track those down!

    Megan — December 6, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

  • megan – search stereogum, i know i downloaded a couple of the footloose covers there!

    browneheather — December 6, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

  • And don’t forget Sam Amidon, Doveman friend and collaborator, responsible for the breathtaking Samamidon album of traditionals, All Is Well. One of my favorites.

    Chris — December 11, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

Comments RSS TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →