August 3, 2010

if this was our last time / what would we do, what would we say then?

The first time I heard this song, it knocked me flat, literally – I laid on the carpet of my living room with it on repeat for a good dozen times before I would resume normal life. It’s a track from The Clogs’ richly lovely album The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, and Matt Berninger’s baritone mutters ruminations over a gorgeous, wandering symphony of loss and last times.

The Clogs are Bryce Dessner, Padma Newsome and friends (see previous post here). The album came out in March, and this track gets a starring role today with the release of the Last Song EP on the Dessner brothers’ Brassland Records.

This video is everything I could have ever hoped for to accompany such an unspeakably perfect song. Jagged-edged line drawings of partial people materialize and vanish, focusing for moments on the angular bend of his hand or the way her nose sloped just so. My memory is admittedly sometimes sketchy where I’d like it to be clear and crystalline. As Frightened Rabbit sings, “like a drunken night, it’s the best bits that are coloured in.” The video feels like a visual journey into the way my memory works; I’m not very good at remembering the specifics — how your eyes looked, yes. Exactly what you said or the day you said it, no.

By the end of this video, it gets so crowded with all pieces of fragmented memories competing for space in the the blank white landscape. People entering, others leaving. Faces with eyes you remember and mouths you can’t see anymore.

The blurs of color bleed in and obscure things — warm wet red, icy blue, a dark shadow of black to fuzz out the edges I want to remember.

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  • WOW! thank you for posting this. amazing.

    Gus — August 3, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  • The melancholy reminds me of the Radiohead Pyramid Song video. And In My Life. Thanks for posting.

    Sameer — August 3, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  • Beautiful! Thanks.

    Dave Logan — August 4, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  • I’m a little confused as to who, exactly, is singing on this track, but it’s quite breathtaking.

    Koan — August 4, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

  • It’s Matt Berninger, from the National. and i agree.

    browneheather — August 4, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  • That’s what I thought! Just picked up the vinyl of “High Violet” and it’s one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard.

    Koan — August 4, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  • Correct. :)

    browneheather — August 4, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  • when this album came out a few months ago I listened to it repeatedly, then I played this song until i could breathe it.

    Mike — August 4, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  • Thank you so much for this discovery. Constant reply since days…

    martin — August 12, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

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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
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—Hunter S. Thompson

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