Friday, June 10, 2011

Song of the week: Editors - No Sound But The Wind (Live at Rock Werchter 2010)

This song is not Belgian. However, it represents a fond musical memory which took place last summer in a field north of Leuven.

Cormac McCarthy's The Road,
first published in 2006.
Birmingham band Editors first performed the song "No Sound But The Wind" at Glastonbury in 2008. According to Tom Smith, the band's front-man, he was inspired to write the song after reading Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel The Road. If you've read the book or seen the film starring Viggo Mortensen, you may see a connection to the story in the song's chorus:
Help me to carry the fire
To keep it alight together
Help me to carry the fire
This road won't go on forever.

A studio version of "No Sound But The Wind" was recorded for the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which was released in October 2009.

It does not stand up to the single version, however, which is a live performance from 2 July 2010, when Editors played at the Rock Werchter festival in Belgium. The single (perhaps unsurprisingly) made it to #1 on the Belgian Ultratop 50.

The Rock Werchter performance was also used as the single's official video. This clip is notable for a young man in the audience who sings along with the song, eyes closed, intensely focused, matching even the passion of Tom Smith's own performance. His reaction to realizing that he is being displayed on the huge screens flanking the stage is, if possible, even more priceless.



Lyrics:

We can never go home
We no longer have one
I'll help you carry the load
I'll carry you in my arms
We walk through the ash
And the charred remains of our country
Keep an eye on my back
I'll keep an eye on the road

Help me to carry the fire
To keep it alight together
Help me to carry the fire
This road won't go on forever

If I say shut your eyes
If I say look away
Bury your face in my shoulder
Think of a birthday
The things you put in your head
They will stay here forever
I'm trying hard to hide your soul, son
From things it's not meant to see

Help me to carry the fire
To keep it alight together
Help me to carry the fire
This road won't go on forever

If I say shut your eyes
If I say shut your eyes
Bury me in suprise
When I say shut your eyes

And I...

Help me to carry the fire
To keep it alight together
Help me to carry the fire
This road won't go on forever

7 comments:

  1. Editors, one of the best bands of the new millennium. "Blood", "The Racing Rats", "Munich", "Papillon", ... all fantastic songs. Gonna turn them on right now actually :)

    "People are fragile things, you should know by now
    Be careful what you put them through"

    One of those lines of which I wish I wrote them myself. An amazing band, full stop.

    PS: you may like White Lies as well if you like Editors. They're very similar in some songs (although Editors are better, White Lies are more like a band good for a few stand-out songs such as "Death" and "Farewell to the Fairground")

    One thing though: people say that Editors have dark lyrics and compare them to the likes of Joy Division sometimes. Nonsense. If you want true darkness, few can match with Joy Division (Day of the Lords, Disorder, ...). A few bands do (God Machine, Sophia, ...) but I really don't see what is so extremely dark about Editors. Great band nonetheless.

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  2. Haha yes, that guy in the audience is probably what the video is most known for ;)

    It's a very nice song :)

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  3. @Gerrit: "Farewell to the Fairground" is my favourite White Lies track ;)

    I don't know Joy Division very well, apart from what I saw in the film "24 Hour Party People". Maybe I should check them out.

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  4. Nikkel (where the Farewell to the Fairground video was shot) is on my list to visit now, although I always had something with the Arctic part of the world and with Soviet architecture. Murmansk was on my list of desired travels already many years but Nikkel has been added to that list since I saw that video. Great track.

    Joy Division... the band who breathes claustrophobia and anxiety like no other band ever could. If there were one musician that could rise from the grave, I'd want it to be Ian Curtis. This article is actually very good, and is a good exercise for your Dutch: http://www.goddeau.com/content/view/573
    "Day of the Lords" and "Disorder" are their best tracks in my opinion, they just breathe anxiety and claustrophobia like only God Machine could equal it. Their most famous tracks however are the more accessible "Transmission" and "Love will tear us apart". Without Joy Division I doubt gothic (my favourite style of modern music) would have existed, Joy Division was gothic before the term even came into existance. I still remember how Peter Murphy of Bauhaus said in an interview that "Ian Curtis showed us depression was real, that the illness was to be taken seriously, it's not an act". Being unipolar depressive myself, I very much find support in the music of bands like God Machine or The Smiths ; in terms of atmosphere, Joy Division is superb though. I very much disagree with music making one depressed. Quite the contrary: it reminds you you're not alone with your problems. I often put on "So slow" (a song which many would say is a very sad song) when I feel down, and it actually heals.

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  5. From "So slow" by Sophia:

    "I turn off the lights but leave the television talking, no tonight I don't wanna be alone
    I turn off the lights but I'm afraid of the dark
    I see you everywhere, I see you everywhere...
    But death comes so slow, when you're waiting to be taken
    But death comes so slow, when it's all you want, and it takes the ones that don't
    Death comes so slow..."

    This is what I call dark, Editors are maybe not your exact party music but dark?

    That said, the above track is one of my "healing tracks",a track I always play when I feel depressed. It may sound odd, but music with very sad lyrics has a healing effect. It is like you're realising you're not alone with your problem, and that somebody out there realises exactly how you feel. A poll once showed The Smiths were the most popular bands amongst depressives, and I can perfectly see why. One person summarised it well: "it is like a giant pair of arms coming out of the hi-fi, embracing you".

    Another track I often play when feeling depressed is "William's last words" by the Manic Street Preachers (gotta write an article on that one myself, note to self):

    "Because I am really tired, I just wanna go to sleep
    and wake up happy..."

    On my own blog (thepathslesstravelled.wordpress.com) there is an article I wrote on healing music, although it requires some scrolling as it's an article of several months ago.

    Sidenote: Robin Proper-Sheppard of Sophia and The God Machine is my biggest inspiration. It was after hearing the song "Purity" that I started to read my poetry to other people and come out with my writings. So in a way that song changed my life. Before that I kept my poems locked in a box, but after hearing that song I just could no longer resist the call to stand on stage myself. Thank you Robin.

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  6. dis is d only lyric i found correct when it sang live at wrechter

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