Lazarus - "Like Trees we Grow up to be Satellites"

C

Codreanu

Guest
As the response to my pick for best album of '05 was so overwhelming *snickers* I thought to upload my favourite from '04 as well. Enjoy, or not.

Lazarus - "Like Trees we Grow up to be Satellites (The Backwards America)"

01. The Walking Sonnet
http://s9.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1XQAXB60R5A9K1394Z3XCSUYSE

02. Fashion-Murder
http://s9.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=230LPDP0ZQ9HD195IF2AEGPDJ0

03. This American Dream
http://s9.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=24QF40E1R4JA63CDVRLTZJGG2Q

04. Croslin St.
http://s9.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0HAEZ4CEA1MBF1Z7JIYQ0UR6D7

05. The Poet of Emptiness
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1ORO4MOUPSO8L341NTYLTSGP6U

06. Michelle from Somewhere
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1V4D81MY8UJCT2ZKQ8HBYYTQ4J

07. Singing to the Thieves
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1EN2TUWUVJZYN3GN8VBMCCYT40

08. With-What-We
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1MUXJL4XICHEL3VJN8FT55YVKM

09. Breathing in Backyards
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=0RV487B6SI0QS15YEW91LH5YKP

10. Mostly Ghosts
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1QTGY8PDV9C193JJ3JEMXLYDQM

11. Yes. Roam.
http://s16.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=11TNHODWZMSX92US1BR3XH5HWM

Watching Lazarus (aka Trevor Montgomery) open for Explosions in the Sky at the Garage recently was rather like watching the grim reaper – albeit in a hoodie – perform his favourite party songs. The set was heavy, almost oppressive, with solemnity and sorrow. Much of the audience fled to the bar at the back. Those who remained watched a compelling and startling performance – a man and his guitar and his infinite sadness.

On first listen, much of Like Trees… is reminiscent of Elliott Smith – from the spartan arrangements and restrained sound palette, to the almost suffocating weight of misery and loss threaded into the songs themselves. On second listen, the subtle arrangements jump out at the listener, recalling at times the work of Sufjan Stevens (without Stevens’ happy-go-lucky feel) or Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, particularly on the disturbing album closer ‘Yes. Roam.’. Rather like Sleater-Kinney’s recent album The Woods, Like Trees… is a frantic howl at modern America, full of doubt and dislocation. The album’s centrepiece is, unquestionably, ‘This American Dream’ – a tale of blood, oil, depression and credit card binges at suburban malls. The commentary is isolated and insular, rather like someone yelling at the outside world from behind their bedroom window, their breath fogging up the glass. In places, Montgomery gives up entirely, “I’m starting to forget/The reason I cared in the first place,” he yelps on the otherwise (incongruously) upbeat ‘Singing to the Thieves’.

As gloomy as the San Francisco Bay in January, there is a cathartic feel to Like Trees… – in a kind of wandering around in the rain, fists clenched tight, sobs stuck in your throat sort of way. Sometimes we all have moments like this.
 
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