Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Amor de Dias "Dream (Dead Hands)"
Amor de Dias is streaming on the Merge Records site. I tend not to listen to records ahead of their release date as it diminishes the thrill of walking home from the record shop wishing and hoping but I couldn't wait to hear "Street of the Love of Days" so an exception was made. So far I've made it to the seventh song and, well, haven't been able to move to the eighth yet. "Dream (Dead Hands)" is without doubt the prettiest 3 minutes and 47 seconds of new music I've heard since 2010 gave way to 2011. It's as intimate and as beautifully clear-voiced as Chuck and Mary Perrin at their "Violets of Dawn" best. It's as delicate and moving as Blueboy at their "If Wishes Were Horses"/"Unisex" best. I'm sure I've written of this phenomenon before (ain't nothing new under the sun, sonny!), but I know when I truly love a song because when it plays I can't really decipher the words, can't focus on them. My guess is that so much of my head is taken up trying to appreciate the sheer beauty of the music and the voices and the arrangement that higher brain functions like language just have to take a back seat for a while until it's all processed and understood and its place in the pantheon of my favourite music established. This inability to fully grasp the song, however, means I'm compelled to play it over and over again to the point where I get a bit over-emotional and all fizzing with the need to evangelise about it. It happened when I first heard The Field Mice, it happened when I first heard Alasdair from Amor de Dias's other group The Clientele and it's happening now with "Dream (Dead Hands)". Just the other day I was lamenting the fact that I hadn't heard too many genuinely brilliant albums so far this year. If the remaining 8 tracks are as majestic as the first 7, "Street of the Love of Days" will be one of the few. Excitingly, it's only 7 days - 17th May - until the vinyl and cd hit the record shops.