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29 July 2008 @ 07:33 am
Song of the Week #21 - Missy Higgins "Where I Stood"  
A few years ago I pulled an EP from Missy Higgins out of a promotional bin of CDs at work and was instantly moved by her wonderful Australian accent, intimate atmosphere, warm and inviting melodies, and did I mention that voice? Her full length, The Sound of White, made my Best of the Year list at #9 in 2005 (see below for my comments on the album at the time). On A Clear Night, her sophomore release came out earlier this year (last fall in Australia) and it took me a few listens to get into it fully - it's a little more produced, not as intimate - she wrote it on the road so more songs are guitar based as opposed to the piano heavy debut - but it has since become one of my favorites of this year.



Fast forward to Saturday night, I was at one of the coolest venues I've been to in recent years, Revolution Hall in lovely Troy, NY. A blast of feedback squealed 90-seconds into her first song and she stopped playing, briefly chatted with the crowd, and then re-started the first track from her debut, "All for Believing." She had me at 'hello.' Missy now joins the elite rank of female performers who have stolen my musical heart (Tara, Anna, Chantal, Jewel, Jo, Keri, Kasey, please say hello to Missy and make her feel welcome). She envelopes you, making you want want to get inside of the song. You're surrounded by it, encompassed, held, and the song is all that matters. It's a cocoon. You get a sense after the show of wanting to spend the next 24-hours in a room with the music, to borrow a term from my English prof. Dr. Cody, 'getting drunk' on the songs.

It was a magical night. Missy was amazing, the crowd was supportive and responsive, and she had us in the palm of her hand. I checked her tour schedule, as one does when they're blown away - can I hit another show? Alas, it's not in the cards, so youtube will have to be my consolation.

I'm also finding out there is a lot of material I don't have that's been released on Aussie CD Singles (imagine that, put unreleased material on CD Singles and that market still does well - too bad the U.S. botched that up and destroyed singles years ago). The eBay hunt begins - and even a live DVD in horrible region 4 - what about region 0? She's done what only an amazing performer can do - make you obsessed with wanting it all, needing it all. 2 CDs isn't enough, where are the b-sides, where are the live versions, acoustic live versions, full band versions, etc.

Read the lyrics for "Where I Stood" below - not your average break-up song, more mature, more refined. He piano, accent, and voice take care of the rest.



Where I Stood

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none

There were sounds in my head
Little voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found myself listening

'Cos I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

See I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you ain't leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

'Cos I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

And I won't be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than anyone I ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself and so I say to you
This is what I have to do

'Cos I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
Oh, she who dares to stand where I stood


More brilliant live Missy Higgins:
Nightminds (live)
The Sound of White (live)
The Sound of White (live) - small clip but I got chills
Steer (live) - the new single
Warm Whispers (live)
Peachy (live)
Sugarcane (live radio)



[excerpt from 2005 Bp's Best of the Year list]
9.) Missy Higgins: The Sound of White (Reprise/Warner Bros.)
There's good reason that Missy swept the Australian Recording Industry Awards (like our Grammy's) this past year. Missy wrote and arranged the entire album, played gorgeous piano and guitar, and delivered these delicate and haunting songs with the voice of an angel. The Australian accent on her voice only increases the charm as it gives another unique quality to that beautifully yearning instrument. Where Keri Noble won me over last year and Jo Davidson in previous years, Missy Higgins is the vocal/piano album of the year for me. If you've ever loved the sound of a female voice and piano then this is a definite must-have. Upbeat, pensive, yearning, mellow, sultry, haunting - it's everything a brilliant singer/songwriter album should be. Here's a great lyric: "But I will learn to breathe this ugliness you see/So we can both be there and we can both share the dark/And in our honesty, together we will rise/Out of our nightminds, and into the light/At the end of the fight..."
Key tracks: "Nightminds," "Katie," "All for Believing," "Ten Days," "Unbroken," "The Sound of the White"
http://www.missyhiggins.com - full song streaming audio of each track on the album