August 29, 2011

let it clutter up your life / the way you cluttered up mine

I was first introduced to Dolorean in 2008 through a song of theirs called “Heather Remind Me How This Ends” that I used to bookend one of the saddest, most bleeding-heart mix CDs I’ve ever made.

Here’s a free relationship tip: Don’t do that.

Not to be confused with the danceable Spanish band from Ibiza named after 1985′s most bitchin time machine, Dolorean is from Portland, has at times served as Damien Jurado’s backing band, and released four records in their own right. I keep track of which band is which by remembering the Spanish word for sadness, dolor, and then listening to the record — and all things flow accordingly.

Out now on Partisan Records, The Unfazed is not a sad record, per se, but it is deeply wistful and bittersweet, and in that richness there is a healthy wash of beauty. Man, listen to this:

Country Clutter – Dolorean

It is a complex, richly gorgeous album of melancholy and ache. Al James’s voice soars with a vulnerable, incisive timbre that cuts right into me. I’ve played it on the stereo for friends when they come over, and the comments I get are often equal parts Ryan Adams/Heartbreaker and Blind Pilot’s smoky, multi-hued, string-laden beauty. This is a marvelous record, front to back.

Just like the album cover marries “high art” with the impassioned graffiti scrawls of our most base desires, this is an album of knowing better, but doing anyways:

I give you tumbleweed nights / I know it ain’t right
to pass through your sheets as I please
It’s just a life of excuse / when you don’t have to choose
the direction, the speed, or the breeze

Even fools have needs.

[from the song "Fools Gold Ring"]

I agree with the Willamette Week review that called 2007′s You Can’t Win “one of the best albums to ever come out of [Portland],” and the new record gives that a fair run for its money. I foresee this being one of my favorite albums of the year.

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  • album of the year? Probably. I’ve been coming back to it all year. Maybe I’ve heard something nearly as good, but certainly nothing better.

    ward — August 30, 2011 @ 4:56 am

  • On repeat.

    Mallory — August 30, 2011 @ 6:52 am

  • Good tune. Thanks for sharing.

    Adrian — August 30, 2011 @ 11:18 am

  • Weird – I put “Heather, Remond Me How This Ends” on a mixtape called HOW IT ENDS we published in 2008. Wonder if that’s where you heard it…if so, awesome.

    Ryan Tomorrow — August 30, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  • Kinda sounds a little like Romantica, which is a good thing. Really like this song.

    Mark — August 30, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  • Thank you for your kick ass blog Heather. It rules.

    Marty — August 30, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  • Wow. Purchased this album yesterday and have had it on non-stop (heather strikes again.) Haunting, painfull and beautifull. Best thing I’ve heard this year.

    Konan — August 31, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  • this comment made me very happy.

    browneheather — August 31, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  • I think we would all like to hear your “saddest, most bleeding heart mix CD ever”
    We won’t judge. Odds are we’ve been there. If you haven’t read Love is a Mix tape, you should!

    David — September 1, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  • thanks! I have read it! and i loved it –
    so so very much.

    browneheather — September 1, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  • my brother introduced me to dolorean a couple years ago. so so good! thanks for posting:)

    Rachel — September 8, 2011 @ 10:20 am

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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
"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.

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