Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Isn't this cover photo of Lawrence in his vintage fedora just splendid? I liked it so much I made a Felt-inspired painting based on the image. This “12 EP released in 1986 has a distinct dichotomy between its first two A-side and last two B-side songs and is probably my favorite Felt EP. The first two tracks are classic Felt, indie pop at its finest. “I Didn’t mean to Hurt You” carries a motif of apologetic acknowledgment of malfeasance, while “Ballad of the Band” is about the hardships of maintaining a band on the cusp of commercial success, but never attaining it and presumably about Maurice Deebank’s departure, considering this was released in late ’86 after Deebank had already left (my guess is Lawrence is referring to him in the early in the song “Where you been / haven’t seen you for weeks / you’ve been hanging out with / those Jesus freaks”) The marrow on the record, however, are the gorgeous Satie-esque piano pieces, scintillating with beauty and sadness, and subtly suggestive. They bring to mind lost memories, people and places long eaten by time and were, musically, another horizon tackled by the ever-eclectic band. I’m not sure if Lawrence himself is actually doing the piano work on these, but as Trains Above the City showed (which he didn’t have anything to with outside of titling the songs), its possible it was someone else who did the composing and arrangements. Whichever the case, this is a beautiful record with immense contrast, but which shines with equal measure on both sides.