Were you to try and create a musician for me to admire, I’d think it hard for anyone to come up with anything more suitable than Pagan Wanderer Lu. A keen social commentator, multi instrumentalist and lover of melding the the slight and heartfelt sounds that sometimes typify bedroom indie to the louder electronica sounds that are so often in fashion he’s right up my street.
As part of his own publicity push for his new album (available in some good shops) he’s been making a series of videos for the songs on it. Here’s Anger Management which leads off the album.
The album is a mix of old and new, with the old receiving a lot of interesting tweaks. Of the songs that are fresh to me my favourite is (You & Me And) Winston Churchill which kicks off with a seemingly un PWL-like piano and real drums but has some of his nicely awkward lyrics
You and me and Winston Churchill
went to a rave on ecstacy
He said “these brightly coloured lights and bangin’ tunes do not one thing for me”
and leads nicely into the most awesome core of the album, as the, well, bangin’ tunes start to kick in.
The awesome Tree Of Knowledge follows, without any changes from the successful single mix and is a profusely profane ponder on er, education and stuff with many mentions of engorged phalluses. And he says vagina in it too, titter.
Startup chimes, cross the Rio de Palazzo
Boats go by, but I’m looking through the wrong window
Sentenced to life, I can stop anytime I want to
But I’ll press F5 just one more time…
2.0///The Bridge of Sighs laments the dangers of web2.0 culture and was originally featured on the limited (and damn fine) Omega Point EP, about which more when I’ll round up 2008.
Stop Traveller! Stop and Read! reminds me of the days I used to work back in a bookstore and the aimless feel you can get in your first work out of university.
The Memorial Hall pops up next in (shock!) yet another new version. At first I was slightly resistant to the new version, as for me the slow intro is fun, but it’s when the song reaches full tempo later on that it really reaches greatness. There is, alas, no video for it yet, but I’ll post it when it pops up and I’ve even sketched a bit of a storyboard for making my own video, which PWL himself appears to be encouraging.
This may well be my favourite PWL verse by some distance
Now we remember the disco
They’re holding tonight at the Memorial Hall
I hope to meet eyes with your sister
As she stands like a flower by the plaque, by the wall
But the alcohol kicks in and somehow instead
the words on the plaque just take over my head
I think I shouldn’t be dancing with so many dead
But I’m wrong
The album doesn’t end with the next track, Simple Life/Repetition but I’ll stop my track by track here as I feel these are the core tracks that really make the album work.
And if we’re all just machines
For replicating genes
Then what the hell can any of this mean?
Do go and listen to PWL’s music via the videos on his site, and if you like a bit buy the album.