21 September 2011

Music #1 - Thrice

Welcome to the first of 4 music posts, introducing you to the bands and artists that inspire us. The aim is to bring you creative inspiration from a new angle, and for you to find at least one new artist or group that you want to immediately run out and buy the albums of.

To kick things off, I am beginning with experimental post-hardcore band (though they are hard to pigeon hole), Thrice, in celebration of their latest album release Major/Minor, that we had a much anticipated first listen to last night. If any of you fancy sampling it, they are actually performing some of the new songs in a live session at the Red Bull Studio, tonight at 10pm UK time.

The day we met Dustin Kensrue (lead singer and lyricist in Thrice), January 2010. 
Can you see the awe in our eyes?! He was just as kind and gentle as I imagined he would be.

I first discovered Thrice through my fiance when we first met - a devoted fan he was even then, and that has just grown and spread all over me too, with their infectious talent. At the very beginning, all I had heard was their earlier, heavy stuff like from their album Artist in the Ambulance, and although I was immediately struck by their lyrical talents, and loved some of the songs, the majority of sounds were a bit too hard for me.

The first new album release that I experienced was The Alchemy Index, and in true Thrice-fan-style, my fiance had planned the release day out perfectly. He had booked the day off work for us both, but we got up at the crack of dawn for a treat of a breakfast and a stroll into town along the river, on what was a beautiful Spring morning. Arriving at HMV as it opened, we rushed in and bagged our pristine copy of the album. The walk home was a lot less calm, as we power walked the whole way in anticipation! Finally, we clambered through the door of our apartment and crashed on the bed with our headphones. Then, on that first listen, Thrice had me hooked, with a much more experimental sound that they had developed.

Thrice are such a special band, because they are made up of such amazing people, with such incredible skills. They are fathers, husbands and music lovers. They are family men. They have never been chasing fame or money, or dabbling in drugs, as so many in their line of work do - instead they have a real, true passion for what they do. They create the music that they want to create, and with a massive fan base that has grown up with their ever evolving music, they are the most loyal fans I have ever known, and I am proud to call myself one of them. Thrice have no bounds, and I love that - they are constantly experimenting with new sounds, new ways of doing things, and that is what is so exciting about them.

The Alchemy Index album was split into 4 discs - Earth, Air, Fire and Water. While Fire was obviously heavier, I really enjoyed it in contrast to the lighter Earth, Air and Water discs - and they all work so perfectly together. This album, for me, was where they excelled in every way - lyrically, and with sounds that worked in such harmony.

Thrice, 'The Whaler' - from The Alchemy Index, Water disc. 
Delivered beautifully by lead singer Dustin Kensrue.

Thrice, 'Silver Wings' - from The Alchemy Index, Air disc.

The Whaler is one of my very favourites of all Thrice's songs - it really moves me inside. I love the way he describes the tears in his daughters eyes as tiny seas, and the pure depth of emotion that is within the lyrics - it always makes me think of him leaving his family for tour.

Silver Wings for me, is by far the best example of how amazing Thrice are lyrically. Every time I hear this air sonnet, I am blown away by their skill, and to do this absolute justice, I have copied the lyrics below, incase you can't make all of them out in this recording.

From tender years you took me for granted
But still I deign to wander through your lungs
While you were sleeping soundly in your bed,
(Your drapes were silver wings, your shutters flung)

I drew the poison from the summer's sting,
And eased the fire out of your fevered skin.
I moved in you and stirred your soul to sing;
And if you'd let me I would move again.

I've danced 'tween sunlit strands of lover's hair;
Helped form the final words before your death.
I've pitied you and plied your sails with air;
Gave blessing when you rose upon my breath.

And after all of this I am amazed,
That I am cursed far more than I am praised.

If you haven't already established, Dustin has an amazing mind - he is deeply intelligent and emotionally intense. I love hearing his strong views on the many things he talks about, but especially marriage and love, which are often expressed through the songs he writes. On the new album, Major/Minor, the song Anthology is a great example of this - and what a great recording this is too...

Thrice, 'Anthology' - from Major/Minor, their newest release.

After only having one listen so far, I can't wait to hear more of the new album - to hear all of the different instrumental layers and to pore over the lyrics. But, need I say it, it is sure to own our home over the next few months at least.

Want more?...

Check out the Thrice website: thrice.net
Keep up to date on Facebook: facebook.com/officialthrice
Follow them on Twitter: twitter.com/officialthrice
Listen more on Myspace: myspace.com/thrice
Read more about them: ocweekly.com

Next week we will be releasing the next music post, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, tell us what you think of this post and Thrice - are you a new fan that will now be purchasing an album? A contented existing one that wants to share thoughts? Do share, we love to hear from you!

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