Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Need Some Time in the Sunshine?

It's hot in New York right now. Should one be more used to the mild (euphemism) summers of the United Kingdom, it's bloody hot in New York right now. Pepper the 90F degree temperatures with torrential rain here and there and my guilty feelings of already looking forward to the winter chill are rapidly assuaged.

One of the worst effects of sweltering heat and humidity is the lethargy it seems to breed. At times it feels as though brain cells have actually fused to the point of no more than basic, mindless activities being achievable. This accepted, people still love a good heat wave and I look on incredulous as the morning news reports temps pushing 100F as a improvement. Gah, army of me.

All of which coincides nicely with my rediscovery of Sara Watkins' suitably topical song, Long Hot Summer Days. Upon first snagging the couple of songs posted up on Can You See The Sunset From The Southside - a repository of excellent musical musings across a variety of genres - I was somewhat underwhelmed and merely left them to fester in the bowels of my iPod. As an ever-increasing fan of bluegrass outfit Nickel Creek and Sara's sterling vocal performances therein, I didn't immediately click into the simpler attractions of her solo output. This was rectified today.

MP3: Sara Watkins - Long Hot Summer Days
Taken from the self-titled debut album - Buy


The song itself is a perfect accompaniment to the current blast furnace conditions. A slowly unwinding, lilting recollection of sweltering work and the simple rewards of time off during the summer months, it bobs along on the underlying river of fiddle work and ambling rhythm section. Her voice is by turns nostalgiac and assuredly relaxed, melding seamlessly with the instrumentation. What it lacks in the intricate delicacy of a Nickel Creek outing, it makes up for in style and attitude of delivery.

Having been foolish enough to give this solo material only a passing glance first time around, I will be digging much deeper now that the heat has sent me groggily back in its direction. In a most indirect way, it also pushed me to write on the subject here today, forcing out some productivity. And some people moan that it's too hot......pah, roll on the 100's?!

"The Earth was too hot, the air was too thin,
I took off my clothes, I took off my skin."

Now playing: The Thermals - When I Died
via FoxyTunes

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