Tag Archives: relaxing

IRON AND WINE – Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat

So, I know it has been a while – both for me and a music review. But, you know, life happens. And lately, life has been crazy. New, old, unstable, unrelenting, busy life. I’ve been more stressed in the past few months than I have for the entire year.

And so, with all that anxiety in worrying about the past and future, I decided to pick a song that, I believe, is all about focusing on now.  “Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat” from Around the Well, is one of my favorites from Iron and Wine. Sam Beam is the man behind the name and has one of the most calming voices I have ever heard. One that I, frankly, cannot get enough of.

The acoustics in this song are simple and beautiful, repeating this flowing melody with sharper upper tones and a ghostly echo. Like so many Iron and Wine songs, there is an earthiness to the sound and an easiness that is both relaxing and familiar. There are no drums, no bass, and nothing fancy – just Sam’s voice, the guitar, and a woman’s voice backing vocals to enhance the wonder.

Sam starts in with the first set of verses and answers:

Talk of yesterday and she will show her
brothers photographed in calloused clothes.
Say tomorrow and she’ll say come find me,
on a beach and there will be no moon.

But say
today
and she will
kiss your face
and maybe
forgive.

Looking at this, many meanings can come forward from the lyrics dependent on a person’s history and life experiences. For me, right now, it is about today. The woman Sam talks about goes off on a sad nostalgia (photographed, calloused clothes) when asked about the past and when it comes to the future, it is dark and unknown (no moon). However, when you ask about the present and what is happening now, she is delighted.

The second verse continues this:

Talk of yesterday like bargain shoestring,
she will kick the car and find her friends.
Say tomorrow and then she’ll describe some
old communion cups and someone’s coat.

But say
today
and she may
look your way
and lead you
home.

When the past is mentioned, the woman is angered and begins to look for her friends.  To me that is a reaction to find comfort now in the people that surround you. When the tomorrow comes about, she diverges and reminisces on details that are not important in life. As if to say, why focus on things to come and not enjoy right now? I love how when today is the topic, she pays attention to the speaker and leads them home. She is so delighted to be in the moment with another person that she will share her home.

This song is a reminder to me to stop worrying about what happened yesterday, quit analyzing the probabilities of my futures, and just enjoy the now. Be present in the moment and live life.

Please take a listen to the song here .  I encourage you to then keep exploring Iron and Wine and bathe in Sam’s heart-wrenching sound.

I’LL BE AROUND: Empire of the Sun

Empire of the Sun has been experiencing a recent flare in popularity thanks to the Honda Civic commercial that featured Walking on the Sun off their first album, “Nu’ Disco 10.” The electronic dance Australian duo consists of Luke Steele (lead) and Nick Littlemore. Frontman Luke can often be found wearing an eclectic head piece that only emphasizes their futuristic and electric sound.

While Walking on the Sun tends to be their most popular tune, I wanted to write a bit about one of my favorites, I’ll Be Around off their second disc, “Ice on the Dune.” With the influence of 80’s pop and a dreamlike-wavy beat, this song always gets my attention and often inspires me just simply sway.

I’ll be Around starts off with a sweet-rolling guitar that seems to dive around the chords punctuated by a constant snare and cymbal. The sound is answered by a keyboard melody that panders off into the distance. After two rounds this, the song settles off to Luke’s voice, which comes in so soft and gentle it almost has an ethereal feel.

Luke lyrically speaks of a feeling that he had a child and is now trying to remember, which as the song reveals throughout is one of love and devotion to another person. The chorus begins with its repetition of “So I’ve made up my mind, I’ll be around for a while/You can bet on your life, I’ll be around for a while,” which brings a strange reassurance and comfort to the song. A sound that reminds me of a release in air pressure can also be heard throughout the chorus – for me this somewhat mimics the human response of relief. Perhaps to imitate a person’s emotion after learning that their love will be staying with them?

After four runs through the chorus and verses, each of which have their own distinct difference, I’ll Be Around slowly fades out just as quietly as Luke began it.

This song is very relaxing to me. I can’t deny that images of slow walks on the beach during a sunset with a slight breeze are flashing through my mind each time I hear it. The beat is wave-like and weaves on the periphery of dreams.

Please take a listen of the track here and check out the full lyrics below.

Enjoy!

_________________________________________________________________

“I’ll Be Around” by Empire of the Sun

When I was young
The feeling was there
It is still there
Unweaving in me
As I recollect
Take me back to the stems of it
To the eyes of the parent’s tongue
I’ll listen to them

So I made up my mind
I’ll be around for a while
You can bet on your life
I’ll be around for a while

Call out my name, when you call I’ll be there
I’m always runnin’ chasing flames on a dare
Come back in that light, come on darling shine
Call out my name, when you call I’ll be there

So I made up my mind
I’ll be around for a while
You can bet on your life
I’ll be around for a while

Time after time
I’ll be around
This love tonight
It will be around for a while

If wishes were horses then beggars would ride
Virtually a mystic couldn’t ravel tonight
Harder than diamonds, cut up the sky
Running like a river while I move to sun

So I made up my mind
I’ll be around for a while
You can bet on your life
I’ll be around for a while

Time after time
I’ll be around
This love tonight
It will be around for a while

We don’t need to stay aha
Have you seen’ Yes I changed my ways again
Really needed say

When I’ve prayed, aha
Prayed to live with someone like you someday
It’s all I need to say
It’s all I need to say, It’s all I need to say

So I made up my mind
I’ll be around for a while
You can bet on your life
I’ll be around for a while

Time after time
I’ll be around
This love tonight
It will be around for a while