(The) Slowest Runner (in all the World) leave me without words

On 11 January, 2010 by slowcoustic

Slowest Runner Live

Bands with long overly wordy song titles.  I don’t know who started this, many think Sufjan contributed to the phenomena but I am not sure if he started it or brought it to the fore front of independent music a few years back.  I am not always sure why I like it.  Maybe because almost like reading a novella, you try to look into what it means without having to dedicate all that time to actually reading a full length book but still get enough to “get it”.  Another reason is I like judging people (who doesn’t) and I always look to see if a band or artist is trying to be too smart for their own good.  Mostly I like a “good” long song title as it will in turn make me want to listen to the song, which I guess is something they are going for.

Well, I found one place where these bastardy named songs work.  A band that has long, but not tooo long of a title and ones that strike me as pretty interesting.  I then realized another reason that these songs I was listening to and enjoying had such long names.  They are instrumentals!  The title is in fact the only words the song has…which is a pretty good reason to have a long song title, no?

The band is The Slowest Runner in all the World and the song offered up below as the example is “As the sea swells she bleats and moans like a goat in heat.”.  So the track just by it’s title alone conjures up an image…but it also gives you an idea that the song might have epic crescendos (“sea swells”) and ebb and flow (“bleats and moans”) of a song that has only the music to tell the tale.  This is the key fact for all of this and why it all works, the song has to be strong enough to tell the tale or send you deep into it to discover what it is trying to relay or even give you the opportunity to create your own message,/theme or idea of what the song is about.  Not unlike the band Balmorhea (also a Slowcoustic favourite), sometimes when listening to this kind of instrumental modern orchestral music, it often makes words seem redundant and the music would simply drown out anything lyrically that you had to say.  The sound is described as “stunningly cinematic” and create “…strings and piano with a traditional rock setup and experimental sound manipulation techniques for a uniquely-embellished sound”.  I agree whole heartily.

With all that rambling, the end result is a band that brings 5 epic soundscapes on this EP (or maybe an album as only one of the 5 tracks is less than 6 1/2 minutes in length) and prove that it stands up to any scrutiny of song names.  As trivial as that sounds the overly long song title fades away and it is the music created that stands alone without words and it speaks, or even shouts its presence to you and then it is simply great music and you then kick yourself for listening due to song title in the first place.

The album is “The Flophouse Sessions”.  The band is “The Slowest Runner in all the World”.   The song is “As the sea swells she bleats and moans like a goat in heat.” and please consider heading over to grab it to listen to the whole EP/Album as it needs one full sitting of all 5 tracks to immerse yourself in.

Track Listing

1. As the sea swells she bleats and moans like a goat in heat. (mp3)
2. A blind captain, a whispered portent, an infirm navigator.
3. A Moor slave dreams of a beautiful woman he will never meet.
4. Like hares they mistook confidence for capacity…
5. This is water.

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~Smansmith

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