What a pleasant surprise. Love and Youth was the soundtrack to my restless 2008, and a very fitting soundscape to accompany protracted crises about getting older, lack of direction, indecision, deadening of the soul etc. Its talk of ‘crazy summers’ led me toward my bizarre and slightly ill-conceived European adventures, and brief parting from The Government. But what seductive lyrics for anyone of a romantic disposition:
New Jenny Wilson!
Anyhow, I know the truth. It’s what they call Love and Youth.
Sold my bed, no need to sleep these nights/ Walking round in search for stars these nights/ The sky is perfectly brown instead of black/ Let my shoes lead me forward, please bring me some luck.
Crazy summer/ Hot breeze/ Don’t care about what people said.
Then the summer comes/ Hey, ain’t that the roughest time the roughest of times/ Sun bleached hair/ No matter what you’ve just got to have fun…
See how easy it is to stitch these into a narrative leading all the way to Stockholm? (strategically ignoring any irony) Very easy. I love L&Y’s breeziness, humour, but also its edge of melancholy — anyone who has the time to write a concept album idealising love and youth is presumably writing about it from some distance. And it’s just so romantic! As in romance in the unformed, unfocused way — the romance of what might happen next. In Sweden.
So back to my pleasant surprise that there’s something new out. Have to pick it up tomorrow, but I have to say I’m actually a bit weirded out by the single, The Wooden Chair. At this point it’s hard to separate the music from the imagery, but as a package its pretty full-on. For one thing, the clip’s very Judy Garland TV-special (as in severe and draggy), with none of the lightness of Let my shoes lead me forward. The song’s growing on me very, very quickly, but it’s also quite severe, particularly the dramatic chorus (which for some reason reminds me of mid 90s Des’ree crossed with Jenny Morris. Don’t ask why). But how very, very exciting!