When Words Are Not Enough

Recently, my friend Caitlin over at Neverwhere Calling (There Are Alligators in the Sewers) told me about the Alaskan artist Andrew Norsworthy. I listened to a few of the songs on his MySpace page, a couple times each, and suddenly they were living in my head twenty-four hours a day; I’d wake up in the morning with “Stardust Motel” or “Sweetness” already playing. After a few days of that, I surrendered and bought the 2005 album Stateside, and I’ve been listening to pretty much since then. The music is great; it’s sticky without being poppy or repetitive or too simple, it’s dreamy without being spineless or sappy. But the lyrics are what keep leaping out at me. For example:

From “Stardust Motel”: “Stop the arguing, please / I was working on the memory of the rhythm of her breathing / when she’s fast asleep / so much sweeter than the sound of people disagreeing…”

From “Centralia”: “You had a dream you were dreaming, what a scare / I had a dream about leaving, you were there”

From “Falling is Faster”: “Now I’m pressing petals down, one flower at a time / in the phone book of the town I just left behind / I could try my hand at paint, when words are not enough /  for the uncertainty of waiting for the urgency of love…”

From “Promise”: “You came awake and you were shaking lying safe inside my arms / in the cradle of a dream just before my sleep was gone”

From “She Was A Bruise”: “She was a bruise, blue and fading / I was news for which no one was waiting”

Not too shabby on their own; but with music underneath the words come alive. I highly recommend him, especially if you like Joshua Radin, The Poem Adept, or Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (that last one’s a bit of a stretch, but a note or a word now and then on Stateside brought them to mind).

What I’m reading: A Gate At the Stairs, Lorrie Moore
What I’m listening to: Stateside and singles, Andrew Norsworthy

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