Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, "Our Hell" (YSI link)
Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, "Nothing & Nowhere" (YSI link)
So, I've tried to slow down on the whole female-centric posting, as I didn't want to give the sense that these were just another genre I focus on like Madchester or Miami bass. I feel like there's so many talented female performers, but it's offensive for me to highlight the female aspect when they can stand with any guy. So, yeah, hopefully no one was offended as it wasn't my attention to be ignorant, I'm working on it.
Emily Haines and the Skeleton Key have released an album, Knives Don't Have Your Back, that could stand with anything of 2007, if only it had come out this year. It dropped late last year, but I didn't get hip to it until months later. No worries, I turned in my indie cred card a few weeks ago, in light of this lapse and my complete disgust for Craig Finn. It's ashame, as I wish I had been hyping this one from jump street. Haines is the lead singer of Canadian indie band Metric, who have always straddled that indie/dance line we love so much. This album, however, is as far from that as possible. The immediate comparison I came up with was to Cat Power, especially her pre-The Greatest albums. For those longtime readers, you know that's a serious comparison at Pound for Pound. I'm not ready to put on her on that level, but this is an amazing record (she has one prior called , but it's out of print and doesn't register on Discogs)
The songs above are two of the best I've heard in a long time, regardless of genre. They give you a good sense of the album, which essentially features Haines on piano singing, with the occasional accompaniment. I don't even know what to say about "Our Hell" and "Nothing & Nowhere," they are that special to my ears. Listen, I like sad music. I can't lie, I can't pretend that I'm a happy-go-lucky guy. Listening to Haines' beautiful voice nearly cracking, singing "All of our scars are permanent, permanent/There's no replacement for places. I'll always love you, you're mine/ Nor is the new high, all memories die out, until nothing is nowhere is golden," I just wanna cry and tell people that I love them and lay in bed and remember and that's all I can ask for from any song ever. It's so rare today to hear (or see or feel) an artist lay themselves open, to dig in a time of surfaces and fashion. Haines does it without making you feel like she's doing anything special, which makes it all the more awe-inspiring. This is fragile, wonderful, sad, honest music, the perfect antidote when the robot rock and glittery pop isn't making sense. More of this, please.
Obviously, I highly, highly recommend this album, buy your copy ASAP. I'm realizing that everyone is going to be downloading this in the morning and that this is not exactly start your day off with a smile music. I promise to make it up to you in the late morning/early afternoon with music that makes you wanna dance and kiss and smile. Yeah!