Musical Interlude

The Wallpaper: Iris

A new video by Benjamin Jameson Morey’s band. Give it a look; then, take a look at his other videos.

Here’s a little snippet I wrote about an earlier album:

I’ve been listening to Morey’s album, Songs in the Key of Being Scared to Death by the Idea of an Entire Life. It is remarkable. Morey writes lyrics out of a sensibility so tender and responsive that it seems debilitatingly fragile, but also so wry and ironic that it seems lordly, satirical. The lyrics hover between nearness and distance, between sensitive humility and gentle scorn. Morey’s voice is dual-tuned as well; it seems always ready to break–somehow and at the same time into tears and into laughter.

Morey manages the balancing act because his is an associated sensibility, an ability to feel reflectively, to think in the midst of feeling, without either diluting the feeling or scattering the thought. Instead, his lyrics ingather all that they touch, and he writes as if from a desire to reconnoiter his own experience, to make it all homely, to come to know his way about in it, in its highlands and lowlands.

He creates memorable, understated and meditative melodies. The songs will stick with you, not only as lyrics to be sung but as tunes to be hummed. Typically the lyrics and the melodies enjoy such mutuality that it is hard to imagine that either could have preceded the other.

A nice example of the strengths of the album is provided by its one cover, *This Little Light of Mine*. Morey complicates the tune, but still works recognizably within its structure. However, instead of sounding like a bit of Christian self-affirmation, a candle singing about its not being hidden beneath a bushel, it instead sounds like a candle singing against a strong damp breeze, hoping to hold out, if only for a while, if only it can provide someone some little light. The vocals are as weightless and fleeting as the light itself.

Go give Morey a listen.

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