February 05, 2009

and I wanna dive in an ocean of pink tourmaline...

Come tell me your story to unload your glorious grief
Where you are the valet of honour and I am the thief
And don't ever mention the stains that you left on my track
How from a beautiful girl I became someone ruined and wrecked
It was all in your back
All in your back

So I spin in the dance of your absence and put on a show
But why do I smile baby, you of all people should know
The one that you loved
Died a long time ago

You can't do me wrong with charity until
You'll exhaust your lies and remedies, you will
But with your voice and melodies you kill, you kill
Your version of glory is dark and it's covered with sin
And I wanna dive in an ocean of pink tourmaline
I've seen the pure souls they exist and they fly
I think I could live with it, I know I can now

You can't do me wrong with charity until
You'll exhaust your lies and remedies, you will
But with your voice and melodies you kill…you kill

It's funny how now that I'm not in the palm of your hand
You're still running blindly to save me again and again
But I don't need a friend
No, I don't need a friend

You can't do me wrong with charity until
You'll exhaust your lies and remedies, you will
But with your voice and melodies you kill…you kill
--In Your Back, Keren Ann
Romance...now certainly the French culture didn’t invent the notion of romance, but their pop music tradition has perfected the art of infusing romantic music with just enough melancholy to stir an emotional response that lingers long after the song is over. Jane BirkinFrancoise HardySerge GainsbourgEdith PiafFrance Gall…the legacy of these artists, and others, bear out this premise quite clearly while the work of Berry, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Benjamin Biolay, Emilie Simon, etc. all promise that this tradition will continue to flourish, and that’s a good thing. For me, this notion of romantic music nears perfection in the work and the voice of Keren Ann Zeidel.

Legions of indie-pop boys around the world have a Texas-size crush on Keren Ann. As for me, let me assure you, I’m merely appreciative of her music and have nothing but respectful admiration for Mlle. Zeidel, she of dual passports (French and Dutch), she of French-Russian- Javanese- Dutch- Israeli descent, she of softly cooed ballads on landmark albums like Not Going Anywhere, Nolita, or her 2007 eponymous masterpiece. However, there is a good reason for all this fan-boy fervor. She’s a refreshing presence in the pop music world - her musical persona is feminine in the perfect way: She’s smart, not frivolous…attractive, not arrogant…vulnerable, not insecure…creative, not boring or pretentious.

When I first heard her sing four or five years ago, I was immediately struck by the power and beauty of her voice. As I’ve pointed out before, her music works like a tonic for those times when the stresses of life are working hard to bring you down. Her dreamy songs, sometimes barely rising above a whispery voice and a delicate melody, will compel you to stop and listen and join her for a few moments.

Keren Ann has one of the most beautifully emotive voices I’ve ever heard. The world kind of melts away when she starts to sing, each song lulling you into a pleasantly dreamlike state…drifting into moments both beautiful and genuine, but vaguely unreal. Her music is infused with a gracefulness that is both soothing and seductive all at once - her words float through your body and hit you in the heart…she can break your heart or mend it with one shift of her voice.


So many days have been away
that I once abandoned Keren Ann for her straight power which reached my heart.
But When I come back I find that I'm still in love with her.
She comforts me, yes she did. And her voice was my safe harbor.
I hided myself in the cold winter night on my bed with her music
that I was sure I was not afraid of any separation.
Will the days come back again? Let me kiss myself with those pains.
And dying in the music.

Keren Ann not only writes beautifully, she inspires beautiful writing…I stumbled across this poem several months ago - I’m pretty sure it was originally written in mandarin and then processed through google translate or something similar.

Here’s a video for In Your Back (live)…

Visit Keren Ann at myspace
Click here for a short live set…Click here to shop for her music…
...and this post completes the epic Valentine's Trilogy...and in record time!

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