RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Barzin: "Notes to an absent Lover"

img  Tobias

There's a masochist in each of us. It is the disoriented compass inside our head that keeps telling us to choose the wrong turn, take the wrong decisions and fall in love with the wrong kind of people. It is also the voice that is singing on „Notes to an Absent Lover“. „I don't know why I drove so far“, the protagonist of „When it Falls apart“ is wondering, „I should have stayed where I belonged. I guess I wanted to see for myself what love looks like when it falls apart.“ And yet, like a moth to a flame, he is heading towards her mother's house, where she is waiting for him to deliver the lines that have been spinning in his head like a broken record for the past few hours. But even the most lovingly spoken words couldn't melt the ice of her determination.

Lyrics are essential on this album but they keep circling the same words over and over again. Language turns into a perpetual lament, a plaintive loop, a perverted lullaby that is keeping you from falling asleep. The world of Barzin is filled with „pretty girls with auburn hair“, „words tangled in blue“, notes read „by the light of the kitchen“ and with questions about whom to call, what to say and how to forget. They delineate a space built on nothing but memories, desires and want, refusing to remain in the present to aspire to an inattainable future and linger in a past that will never return. Waking and sleeping are feverishly entwined, as truth and lies become indistinguishable and noone can tell what is real anymore: „Desperate in my sleep, like I had lost something. When I awoke I found it was just a dream.“

The music, meanwhile, always follows one step behind, limping and dragging itself forward in a depleted trance. Everything appears to get harder the more the album progresses. „Nobody told me“ is marked by the will to face the impending hardships with pride and self-respect and the first songs still have an elegant groove to them, lifting these brittle Folk pieces off the ground and up into the sky. But by the time Barzin have reached „Lost“, the energy has evaporated and made way for an unreal, elegiac sensation of loosing oneself completely in a sweet cloud of despair. Country influences and echoes of love songs from the 50s permeate these minimal and skeletised pieces which crawl sluggishly towards the darkness at the end of the tunnel. „Look what love has turned us into“ sounds as though it might herald better times, but its vocabulary belies this premature optimism: „Summer is almost wasted and so we are too. I know I am just a station that you are a passing through“.

And yet, despite the harshness this poetry exudes, there is a consoling ring to the pieces of „Notes to an Absent Lover“. The stumbling trudge of the drums is turning out to be just as much the march of a nightmare as the slow beat of Summer. It can even make you feel all romantic and sexy. So step outside onto the balcony, feel the warm early evening air, put on this record and keep a glass of Bourbon nearby. There's a masochist in all of us and he wants to be pampered.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Barzin
Homepage: Monotreme Records

Related articles

Bad Lieutenant: "Never Cry Another Tear"
Spotlighting Pure Pop: Toe-tapper piffle ...
15 Questions to Matt Stevens
Let there be no doubt ...
The Milk & Honey Band: "Dog Eared Moonlight"
Less jittery and more staidly ...
Concert Review/ Eivør Pálsdóttir
Live at Moers Festival, Moers, ...
CD Feature/ Michale Graves: "Illusions Live/Viretta Park"
A raucous but familial mood: ...
15 Questions to Hanggai
For lack of a more ...
CD Feature/ Luka Bloom: "Eleven Songs"
A sort of James Taylor-reborn ...
CD Feature/ :papercutz: "Lylac"
A thorough understanding of the ...
CD Feature/ Tom James Scott: "School & Rivers"
Mastery of execution: An alternative ...
Balmorhea: All is Wild, All is Silent, All is Full of Expectation
Rob Lowe and Michael Muller ...
Tamerlan: Hypnotizing the Crowd
According to Timur Iskandarov, the ...
Erik Friedlander: Overtaken by Memories
The title of Erik Friedlander's ...

Partner sites