Thursday, May 22, 2014

Scattered Bodies-Talking Songs

Dream Tower Records

When composing stories sometimes it's best to simply start at the end and work your way back toward the  beginning. There are rare occasions when you are trying to wrap your head around an album for review purposes that the same exact sentiment rings true. And so we start at the end, "Talking Songs". This album is Brian Brett (words and vocals) and Susheela Dawne (music and vocals).  The former is a award winning author and the latter is a composer. Along with musician Andy Meyers you have the basis for Scattered Bodies. Sure, there are other "scattered bodies" if you will. A few key musicians stop by to lend a helping hand, but for the most part it's Brian, Susheela and Andy with the end result being an oddly-assembled collection of spoken word material and sung poetry that's been planted atop both fresh music and sampled music. As for the how and why? Well, as we work our way back we find that Andy Meyers belonged to Toroto art punk collective The Scenics (Canada's take on the music of The Velvet Underground and similar-minded acts like Television) and it is his band's music (circa 1976-1982 along with a few modern sessions) that provides the basic foundation for much of  "Talking Songs". From those blue-prints (the cut and paste music of The Scenics) writer Brian choose different moments and, after using said music for inspiration for his poetry, he worked with Susheela (who took some of Brian's work and provided melodic vocals that are soulful), Andy and some guests to create the soundtrack for this album. Part post-punk, part beat-poetry the sounds displayed on "Talking Songs" are spontaneous, never once planting any real roots. With a beatbox on hand (as well as a banjo apparently!) the various musicians worked their hand toward a common goal, inspiration transforming into originality with a kindred spirit focused on the creation of true art rock. From primitive guitar solos to looped drums and inspired talk-sing it's all here and yet that doesn't even begin to explore the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this formidable presence that stands firmly between music and art. As different as it may be there is still something to be said about the manor in which Scattered Bodies boldly went about "Talking Songs" and in a world in which conformity has been sadly accepted as a means of survival (whether within the music scene or as a general rule of thumb in one's daily walk) this album stands tall and proud, a commendable deed if ever there was one! 

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