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03 October 2011 @ 09:40 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #131: Last October "Catch a Moment"  
It’s easy to hear and song like it. After repeated listens you become enchanted by it and you decide it’s something you want to share with people. It’s more difficult to then put into words why someone else should take the time and listen to it. Sometimes I feel like Jack McCoy (Law & Order way back in the day) arguing my case as to why a song has stirred something in me. But that’s also part of the joy, because, as with this week’s pick, in finding the little things that make is special, I’ve become that much more attached to it. I’ve found even more new things that I love about it. Some are detailed below, some are not. Some are only things I’d understand, and others are best shared with someone in your presence – you can just point and they know exactly what you’re talking about. That’s great music!

Last October "Catch a Moment"

ComScore

As I was driving and listening to this track on today [last Friday] I thought about a great way to discuss it that involved meeting a friends’ baby for the first time, the intimacy of conception of both life and songwriting, the fragility and excitement of performance, and it all made sense in my head. Unfortunately it’s not making its way to the keyboard as nicely as I thought it would and now sounds ridiculously goofy. But I’m not satisfied with just saying, ‘this is a brilliant song, listen and you’ll know why.”

Last October is a new project between a long-time favorite songwriter of mine, James Kinne, and his new musical partner, Erica Stroem. They’ve been working together for about a year and the freshness and vibrancy of their musical relationship comes through in the music. It’s not tentative, but the intimacy created mirrors that of a new relationship. It’s not hesitant, but there is a hesitance (I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone other than myself, but I know what I’m talking about – if this record was made three years from now with the same songs, it would sound different). The songwriting is seasoned, but infused with a spark and excitement of a new musical relationship. And it’s the details, the nuances, that make the entire album, but this song in particular, so exciting and fun to listen to.

Things I love, things to listen for (ie- why I love the song):
• Lyrically its foot is in three places, the now – savor the moment, with the wind in your hair, enjoy the now and be present in it; the past – touched by remembrance, recapturing memories, we are the sum of our experiences; and the future – maybe it’s the optimist in me, but there is definitely a future.
• The two acoustic guitars complement each other, one finger-picked, the other picked.
• The light accents way out in the right channel (by ‘way out’ I mean across the road and in the field past the house – get some headphones on and you’ll hear what I mean – starting around 0:55)*
• The weaving of Erica’s voice around James’ – it’s organic, it’s natural. They are not 100% precise as an over-produced recording would be, it’s beautiful in its ebb and flow. There’s a precision to Def Leppard’s vocal harmonies that works within those confines, but there’s a gorgeous give and take to these two voices intertwining with each other.
• At 1:18 when the first chorus of “whoa, oh” comes in its sparse and Erica supports James, you feel uplifted, but the next time around the blend of their voices become something you never want to end – you want it to ride out like “Hey Jude” for minutes on end.
• At 2:30 “living the daydream, under a cloud drenched sky” – okay, I first started to type out that they were separated, they weren’t locked in sync (which led to my previous comment about loving the organic vocal, that it didn’t need to be precise), but I’m not so sure I’m right now. There’s definitely something there, especially at “under a cloud” – but maybe it’s just that James’ “under” and Erica’s “sky” just slightly different than each other makes me love it so much.
• And then that big “whoa, oh” section I referenced earlier that I didn’t want to end, but they do…and they do it beautifully. Down to one guitar, down to their voices, reminding you to “go catch a moment, where the field touches the sky, savoring the moments, before they pass us by”

This is one of those songs that as soon as it’s over you feel compelled to start it again.

Catch a Moment
Let's go catch a moment in the field by the sky
Recapturing memories of days gone by
Like I'm standing on top of the world
With the wind in your hair
And the strong scent of roses is everywhere

I'm touched by remembrance
When things still felt new
And all the doors were open
For me and you
Let's lay down together
Can you spare me the time
Living the daydream
Under a cloud drenched sky

So let's go catch a moment
Where the field touches the sky
Savoring the moments
Before they pass us by


There’s more Last October to discover at their page on the Reverb Nation site: here.
Here are a couple that I recommend:

More Last October:
Down this Road
“Deep in the woods in the freshly fallen snow
Lie two tracks in sync towards the unknown
Feeling life in a way we'd almost forgot
As the things behind us can't equal what we've got”

click

Work in Progress
“Take the chance, push past the edge
Climb that peak, tumble down again
One foot first and then the next
You never know what lies ahead
Good things come to those who wait
You'll miss the chance if you hesitate and
I want to see your smiling face....”

click


Samples from the entire album, click on “An Angel’s Touch” – you can hear the magic in just this short clip – stunning!
Click here.


*With my normal headphones which aren’t labeled, apparently I have them on backwards normally because this was originally in the left channel. I had to switch headphones to a different pair which is very clearly labeled right & left and all of a sudden it was coming in the right channel. For some reason I really liked it better out of the left.