Saturday, March 12, 2011

30-Day Song Challenge, Day 10: A Song that Makes You Fall Asleep

Some of the categories on this Facebook Time Vacuum could be open to several interpretations. Take today's, for example. A song that makes you fall asleep: Do you go with a song so numbingly dull that it instantly induces somnabulism in the stoutest of night owls? Or do you go with a song that captures that wonderful twilight time, when you're relaxed and contemplative and ready to drift happily into the wonderful universe of Dreamtime?

God knows there are more than enough songs out there that encourage the former torpor. Hell, the vast majority of the mellow ballads that somehow prospered in the 1970's could handily fill the bill; the collected works of Barry Manilow ("Copacabana" and "Could This Be the Magic" notwithstanding), Bread, Air Supply...Just writing their names is forcing me to stifle a major yawn as my fingers touch the keyboard.

But the nocturnal romantic in me vastly prefers contemplating songs that capture the twilight and ease you into the evening's indigo folds.

Circulatory System was a side project largely spearheaded by William Cullen Hart, lead singer of Olivia Tremor Control (one of the great, underrated psychedelic bands of the late 1990's/early 2000's). OTC put out a couple of great records, and sounded (to me, at least) like what the Flaming Lips have wanted to sound like for most of the last decade, only bolstered by much better singing. Circulatory System's lone disc swirls and mesmerizes with equal beauty.

The album's finest song, "The Pillow", makes for perfect nighttime music. Hart's hushed, spectral vocals layer atop themselves at the opening, gliding along a bed of gently-insistent kettle drums and eastern-tinged guitars. And on at least one night I've had occasion to lie in the darkness, staring at moonlight streaming through gaps between curtains, with this song on constant repeat as sleep enveloped me.

Listen, close your eyes, and drift there.

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