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Friday, October 21, 2016

The Indie Anthology 73: essential songs

There's another artist that, sooner or later, had to make it into our Anthology. A guy named Mark Oliver Everett, but mostly known as Mr. E... A singer-songwriter/band leader with a unique ability: being able to expose himself, sharing the appalling wreckages of his life to create a music world of catharsis in which the listener can drown and be sheltered. Let's dive in!

Song: Things the Grandchildren Should Know
Artist: Eels
Year: 2005

It all begins with 'Novocaine for the soul' of course (I'm not going to lie and say I knew about his previous records). A teenager being strangely hooked by the floating vibes of the tune... Those were Britpop times, but there was something much more enduring on 'Beautiful Freak'... but no one prepared me for 'Electro-Schock Blues'. A blatant proof that pop can be bleak and engaging at the same time... and one of the first times album lyrics had to be read fully (there were short, linked stories there). Then came the light with 'Daisies in the galaxy', an LP full of lovely tunes that has soundtracked several moments of my life. But being honest, after that, I got disconnected with his career,.. until I discover his book 'Things the Grandchildren Should Know'. I was having a pretty bad time emotionally and his warmth, frankness and awkwardly uplifting way of saying 'I'm not giving up' were an incredible shock for me. So I ran to discover what was I missing from his back catalogue. And here it was, awaiting at the end of 'Blinking lights and revelations'. Simple, fragile, sincere, heartening. A man telling his story, a brutal, peculiar, redeeming and somewhat comforting tale. Never choosing the easy path, but always achieving something memorable and touching in reward. If the two last verses doesn't crack you apart (there's the perfect epitaph), you're not human. Wisdom, truthfulness and pop.

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