On Songs, Stuck In The Mind

I have two songs stuck in my head.

The first. Carbon Leaf’s “Lake of Silver Bells.” It’s from their new album, Nothing Rhymes With Woman, and when I’ve listened to the album the past week and I’ve reached that track, I will instantly repeat that track. Three or four times, even.

So maybe it’s not exactly stuck in my head, but it’s something I keep listening to.

And the reason?

It puzzles me.

I’ve been a Carbon Leaf fan for a dozen years, easy. Since Shadows in the Banquet Hall came out in 1997. (That’s one of my favorite albums to write to, by the way.)

The problem with “Lake of Silver Bells” is that it doesn’t sound like Carbon Leaf.

Instead, it sounds like Coldplay. Specifically, it sounds like “Talk.”

Don’t misunderstand. I like the sound of the song, and it’s one of the two songs I like the most on Nothing Rhymes With Woman. (“Miss Hollywood” is the other.) It’s just that… well… it doesn’t sound like Carbon Leaf.

The band has done that before. “When I’m Alone” on Indian Summer is the prime example. And that’s probably one of my favorite Carbon Leaf songs. (Come to think of it, Indian Summer is one of my favorite Carbon Leaf albums, period.)

It’s just weird, to hear one of my favorite bands imitate the style of a band that they’re nothing like.

The other song that’s nagging at my grey matter is My Latest Novel’s “When We Were Wolves.”

My Latest Novel is, unsurprising for me, a Scottish band that has an indie folk feel. Their first album, Wolves came out a few years ago.

Of particular interest to me? It featured a song about LEGO called, appropriately enough, “Learning LEGO.” It’s a strange, haunting song, and I’ve never figured out the lyrics. In spite of that lapse, I really like the sound of the song. (About the only thing I can make out is “Pulling at my hair, pulling at my hair, touch my plastic LEGO man.”)

I discovered, in reading the new Mojo a few days ago that they have a new album out, but as near as I can tell, it’s not available in the States, so I suppose I’ll have to order it from the UK I ordered it direct from the band in Glasgow.

This, of course, prompted me to dig out Wolves and give it a listen anew.

And one of the songs, “When We Were Wolves,” has completely lodged itself inside my head. Maybe it’s the dirge-like quality to it. Maybe it’s the Scottish brogue in the delivery of the lyrics.

I feel like I’ve heard it, within the past two years, while I’m absolutely certain that I haven’t. Maybe it was used in a soundtrack for something. A video game? A movie? An episode of Torchwood? I don’t know.

So now this song is stuck, like it’s on a tape loop, while my brain puzzles out this intellectual puzzle.

Wolves is available on iTunes (I checked over the weekend), for anyone that’s curious. My Latest Novel is a really solid band. Just easy to listen to, with inventive musicianship and interesting instrumentation. (Which is probably why Mojo compared their latest to Arcade Fire, who also display inventive musicianship and interesting instrumentation.)

I really do listen to a fair bit of Scottish music these days, don’t I? I do like that band I discovered the other day, The Great Money Trick; I gave their EP a listen or three over the weekend because I liked it. Hasn’t stuck in the brain, though, not like “Lake of Silver Bells” or “When We Were Wolves.” But that’s okay. There’s only so much mental attic space any of us have.

So that’s what’s eating away at my brain these days. Better songs than zombies. ;)

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