New Music - The Lightning Bug Situation

I had never seen the movie Solaris, neither Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 original nor the Steven Soderbergh directed remake from a few years ago, when I received an email from a reader describing a new album by a band called The Lightening Bug Situation. In the email he described being blown away by the correlation between the new album, A Leaf; A Stream, and the 1972 version of the movie. Just like when you were in college and used to turn off the lights and the sound to The Wizard of Oz, smoke bad weed, pop in Dark Side Of The Moon and totally freak that they kinda matched up. I never tried the Dark Side/Oz thing, and I haven’t tried this new combo either. But I never needed munchkins, red shoes, flying monkeys or bad weed to enjoy Floyd, and I don’t need…..well, I don’t really know what Solaris is about……to enjoy this new album.
The Lightening Bug Situation singer and songwriter, Brian Miller (½ of The Speakers - who appropriately sound like another band named after audio equipment: The Microphones), seems interested in exploring the passage of time on his band’s album. The 15 tracks include a number of ambient spoken word interludes, all by Miller’s family members, that relate childhood memories over muted stringed keys. These tracks add a certain thematic weight to the album, and act as a sort of aural diary of the people Miller considers closest. The birth of Miller’s daughter, name checked in “Message To Myself After Franny Was Born” and alluded to in song titles such as “Pitter Patter” and “The New Dad”, among others, is another inspiration, and ties together with the recollections of his family to act as, not to get all Elton John on your ass, a sort of concept record about the circle of life.
The songs and music that accompany the dialogue is gentle and womblike. Delicate piano and finger-picked acoustic guitar are set beside textural strings and programmed drums, creating a sonic environment that seems to be floating in space. Miller’s vocals are dry and intimate - another effective instrument amidst the serenity. Such a distinctly personal piece of music could run the risk of becoming boring to anyone not related to Miller, but A Leaf; A Stream contains a focused aesthetic flowing through its 15 tracks - peaceful, artistic, haunting, and hopeful - that creates a beautiful and universal song cycle.
MP3 :: Under Your Jacket
MP3 :: Message To Myself After Franny Was Born
(from A Leaf; A Stream. Buy here)

1 comment:

hunterwry said...

I've never heard of this group before, but I'm loving it. Sounds like a radio wet dream!

Great post.