Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lara Meyerratken

June ’08 – I’ve been a fan of El May since the days she was Lara Meyerratken, playing (everything) and singing in Sneeze in the late-90s. I got hold of a copy of about six Lara-solo demos some years ago, and listened to them endlessly, and now I have El May’s four-songer ‘Sound The Key Note’. DRAINING A LAKE has become my favourite track. Sometimes when I’m writing - either a song or a chapter - I’ll think, “Yes, but there’s more to be wrung from this idea – I haven’t fulfilled all its possibilities yet.” One thing that’s so appealing about El May is that all possibilities are explored…In DRAINING A LAKE, with its loose, toe-tapping feel, and rumbling, cascading piano track, and the many layers of ingenious (and not gratuitous) backing vocals, the chorus, “Wouldn’t I know, wouldn’t I know by now?”, is teased out, revealed, explained. I love the way its meaning (or one of its meanings) is made explicit only at the end of the second verse, in a satisfyingly neat inversion: “You’re not coming back to me, ‘cause I’d know by now - wouldn’t I?” She makes these words resigned, yet longing; she’s come to a conclusion, but she’s still asking a question; she’s let go of the past although she’s still singing a song about it.

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