Since June, I’ve been working on weekly episodic recaps of TV classic Twin Peaks. It’s my first go with it, and that’s really the point. I’m watching the series without knowing any spoilers — as if I’m pinned there with the rest of the country when the show began some 20 years ago.
And through the beauty of the Internet, I can blog about the experience.
Well, the reason that bares any relevance now is the fun semblance I’ve discovered between Twin Peaks’ theme and TFWDY track, “We Don’t Care.”
Begin with Twin Peaks (first 15 seconds is fine):
And then mosey over to “We Don’t Care”:
If we’re talkin’ mere coincidence here, so be it. I just like that I hit common ground — with “We Don’t Care,” specifically — because the song stuck out to me again and again with each TFWDY spin. It’s chill and relaxing, and in no rush going absolutely nowhere. The leisurely pacing make it super easy to get lost in its soundscapes. The dual guitar parts — acoustic and electric — are one of its MVP assets.
The real take away, though, is what “We Don’t Care” likes doing between the vocals. Within those spots are heaps — by today’s standards — of, well, instrumental freedom. The guitars, drums and the rest of it get a chance to breathe, damn it, and it’s very nice.
And that’s Viva Voce, really. The tunes they’ve packed on TFWDY — the ones I responded to, anyway — really celebrate the nooks and crannies, so to speak. A lot of what they’ve outputted here isn’t in a hurry to move, with melodic hooks repeating themselves twice, three times over because it’d probably sound cool (and it does). I like that Anita and Kevin really explore as they can, and give their tunes the room to grow that many other artists would otherwise stuff with meaningless chat and other blah.
Trust me, our attention spans aren’t that done-zo yet.
“Diamond Mine” is another TFWDY favorite of mine:
Even chiller than “We Don’t Care,” it might’ve gotten away with being an outright instrumental piece had Anita/Kevin had any desire to make it one. I mean really, the last half of the four-minute piece is without words already. I bet it could stand its ground in a live show.
Not every TFWDY track subscribes to this, though. “Analog Woodland Song,” actually, is an island by itself, and really is the collection’s ugly duckling. It rubs shoulders with the rest of TFWDY rather poorly not because it’s accessible — “The Future Will Destroy You,” the title track, is about the same level of accessibility yet beams very brightly — but because it’s such standard, overproduced pop fare.
“Analog Woodland Song” might be the disc’s lone downer. Those gentle fade outs, though, on songs like “Plastic Radio” and “Diamond Mine” and “The Future Will Destroy You” and “Cool Morning Sun” and, and… doesn’t sit well with me either. Perhaps it’s Viva Voce’s shtick.
The fade outs, which are so commonplace on TFWDY, make the ending to “The Wondering Soul” — TFWDY’s final track — that much more perplexing. I’ve listened to my copy of the album, as well as a free stream elsewhere to confirm that the tune really does end about as abruptly as David Chase’s “Made in America.” I’d like to think it’s a play on the idea of Viva Voce, you know, rockin’ into the night until it’s day again.
- Viva Voce, based in Portland, is the Robinsons Anita (vocals/guitars/what not) and Kevin (vocals/drums/what not).
- You can freely stream The Future Will Destroy You in its entirety on Soundcloud! Do so here.
- Viva Voce will be in town Monday, September 19 for an evening show at Schubas with another Portland band I like, The Parson Redheads. Tickets are $10.