Circlesquare - Songs About Dancing And Drugs
25th Mar 2009
From what I understand, Songs About Dancing And Drugs, the third album from Circlesquare (aka Canadian Jeremy Shaw) is intended to represent a comedown period after a big night out or some nonsense like that, but as far as I'm concerned, it's simply an album of stripped-back and beautiful, melancholic, electronic pop songs.
Concepts aside, the general sound is minimal, which leaves the melodies and, significantly, the vocals, open for close scrutiny. Mostly it's the simple tunes that hold the songs together, often with subtle, accompanying touches like a double-tracked vocal or hand claps or an electronic stabbing noise but on tracks like the really simple Bombs Away, Away the importance of the vocal comes to the fore; imagine removing the vocal? You'd be left with an instrumental of disparate noises. On the other hand, the singing can be a bit tuneless at times (e.g. Ten To One) and this highlights further how fragile, loosely woven these songs are. And in this context, the closing, thirteen minute epic All Live But The Ending proves to be quite a triumph; not only that it manages to last that length without falling to pieces but that it's clever and considered song structure becomes apparent.
It's stripped-back, minimal music, with a faÃ§ade that conceals complex song writing skills; a beguiling challenge. And I'm sure that if you think hard enough (my favourite track) Music For Satellites could represent a blurred, half-drunk state after a night out on the tiles.