Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Half Full Glass of Wine"

It's quite a pleasant surprise to learn, or realise, that one's journey of discovery in music never really ends. I often worry that my interest in learning more about the subject didn't just freeze one day in the late 1980s and enter some sort of statis. But looking back through the entries here I note more than a few songs that are the result of serendipitous encounters, be it through Jools Holland's impeccably-curated late night shows, the ever-inventive advertising industry or a chance encounter with a teenager's iPod. Some of what I've come across for the first time can be qualified as my going back through time to years when I should have been more aware of what was going on around me (viz. Jesus & Mary Chain). Some more recent SongsWithoutWhich are pieces that I've known for years, but which my mind, heart, taste and maturity have only just caught up with, if you see what I mean. This song, too, when I first heard it, sounded like something I'd missed from a Cream album (though Lord knows there weren't many of those). Half-speed guitar built to sound like Clapton's "woman tone" on "Sunshine of Your Love", a vocal that isn't a million miles away from Jack Bruce's on the same song. Even the drumming seems like it's been to Ginger Baker school. And then there's the glorious sudden shift in tempo at the end of the intro: confident, cheeky, as if they'd been listening to the Faces' "Stay With Me". And that's before the song takes off into its own little world of doubt, faithlessness and uncertainty. "Said you wouldn't be home late tonight. I gave up waiting at seventeen past midnight. Now my only company's a half full glass of wine." Everything about this feels 1960s; the slightly lazy groove of the riff, the falsetto vocal, the harmonies, all of it. If Jellyfish can be said to have channeled the 70s and 80s, then on this track Tame Impala is caught somewhere between 1968 and 1975.

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