Friday, June 12, 2015

Separation Sunday & Why I Chose It

By now, you're hopefully aware that Songs About Albums: Volume 1 is being released tomorrow (June 13). But did you know that one of its ten constituent tracks was written and performed by lil' old me?

That's right - when I was drafting in artists for this project, I rather selfishly reserved a space for myself (or rather for Shiny Tiger, my charismatic music-making alter ego). I used this completely unearned platform to write a song about Separation Sunday, The Hold Steady's second album and one of my personal all-time favourites.

The song is called Separation Sunday Sunday, and no, that's not a typing error - it's all about a group of pretentious boho types who get together every Sunday to get wrecked and listen to Craig Finn's finest hour (well, 42 minutes). Afterwards, they discuss the lyrics and attempt to work out exactly what's going on across the album's eleven songs; what happens to Holly? Is she Your Little Hoodrat Friend, and if so, is she the same little hoodrat friend mentioned in Multitude of Casualties? What role do Gideon and Charlemagne play in all of this? What exactly goes on in that camp by the banks of the Mississippi river?

It's questions such as these that make Separation Sunday such an enduringly engaging listen, although obviously the great tunes help. Banging Camp is my favourite, as I mention in the song, but there are loads of classic tracks on that album, and pretty much every one has its own spine-tingling CMoA, from the bit where Your Little Hoodrat Friend comes crashing back into focus on the line "just too many kids" to the part in Stevie Nix when Craig Finn mentions the body in the garbage dump and the whole track is just ripped out from under you like your childhood in that one terrible moment when you suddenly grow up and realise how horrible the world is:

Lord, to be seventeen forever.

So that's why I chose Separation Sunday as the topic for my song about an album. To hear why the other nine artists love the albums that they chose for this project, you'll have to download Songs About Albums: Volume 1 - it's out tomorrow, and I'll be tweeting all about it here.

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