“Back Home” begins with Dan Snaith’s resigned vocals and a synth palette similar to one of Boards of Canada’s downer songs. He’s speaking to someone he loves, or used to love. He doesn’t know where they stand, really. When Dan says, “Does it mean you’re leaving me?”, the song explodes. “Back Home” is a big, desperate song on an album full of dramatic and emotional songs. If you haven’t listened to Our Love, do yourself a favor and give it a spin, it’s the kind of record that just runs and runs.
Assuming that a lot of folks already know about this band, or at least the folks (~13) who still read this blog, but I want to write about them anyway. Sheer Mag is from Philly, which already counts very much for them, but they are also super fun to listen to, in the same way that Free Energy (the first album) and especially Exploding Hearts are fun to listen to–that is, the fun that this band is having playing these songs is transmitted directly to you, the listener, and you get to take part vicariously in the casual energy and sweatiness and roughness and celebration of these songs. Whose Side Are You On is particularly wonderful because it does not have the exact blown-out jet-engine quality of the other songs on II; it’s a little calmer and more declarative, but no less powerful. It’s a catchy summertime song, and god knows there aren’t enough of those in the world, so why not embrace it for what it is.
Is it possible to father or mother a child to such an extent that other parents, with their shoddily raised children, defer to your supreme wisdom in instances of public tantrum and/or fussiness? Can you parent perfectly? What happens to a child who is birthed, nursed, caressed, played with, diapered, tutored, gently disciplined, spoken to, danced with, and attended to as mindfully as it is humanly possible to do? Does their infancy then become the high point of their entire lives? What of the folks who cannot take the time or who cannot afford to do the same things with their kids? What if giving your child the best possible start does not, in fact, result in the best possible life for them in the long run? Will you have failed as a parent? Will all that fetishization of your own child’s childhood have gone to waste?