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Friday 12 May 2023

The Sun's Tolling Bell

Mark Lanegan's Blues Funeral, a 2012 album contained a few songs where he broke away from the gnarly post- grunge, industrial/ blues rock that usually accompanied his voice- a voice that sounded like it was carved from granite cliffs and blasted in an foundry- and moved into synthpop territory. On Ode To Sad Disco he did this so well, so perfectly, that it made me wonder why he didn't pursue this more often. 

Ode To Sad Disco

It must be seen as at least partly a homage to 80s New Order, happy/ sad dance music with sequenced basslines, descending synths and shimmering keys (plus a guitar line weaving its way through). On top of this celestial synthpop Mark sings of subterranean eyes, hollow headed mountains, a white horse that drowned on parade, diamond headed serpents, mountains of dust, Arcadian twists and other equally biblical sounding imagery. The drum machine kicks on, the synths shine, the guitar rings and Mark concludes, almost like Bernard does in Temptation, 'here I have seen the light' (in fact you can sing 'oh, it's the last time' quite easily over the end of Ode To Sad Disco). Glorious stuff- dancing with tears in our eyes as Ultravox put it. 


Nick L said...

Will definitely have to investigate this. His autobiography was an excellent read, despite the fact that I never really liked much of his music. This sounds much more up my street.

JC said...

This was completely new to me.

It's rather good. And wonderfully and accurately described in your post.