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47. Sparklehorse featuring PJ Harvey – Eyepennies

07/11/2009

47

I don’t know if Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous is preparing for death during the telling of Eyepennies, or whether it’s something to do with kicking heroin. Or maybe it’s about something else entirely. Whatever it is though, it’s almost academic – Eyepennies is another example of a beautifully weary song where the lyrics simply paint fuzzy pictures of despair rather than anything more concrete, and it’s up to the listener to sit back and swim in the tired melancholy of it all. And while that’s all happening the arrangement lifts this track above its peers. Modest and sparse, the battered old piano offers a sense of space that feels empowering rather than impoverished, and Polly Jean Harvey’s elegant close harmonies add an extra, sighing ache to Linkous’ murmur. The song’s funereal pace, too, feels strangely bold – it won’t be rushed, even at its peak. Indeed, the lyrical ambiguity almost augments the end-of-days pace of the song, and Eyepennies becomes a torch song to almost any moment of sadness you want to imagine.

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