Decoder Ring | Somersault (Bella Union)

So I ignored the film altogether and let the music create its own context, song by song.
“Heidi’s Theme.” Landscape tracking. Koyaanisqatsi for a continent that has not yet crowded out its aborigines
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Decoder Ring is the accompanying soundtrack to a film I’ve never seen. Both the film and soundtrack were Australian critical sensations, with the album winning “Best Score” at the AFI Awards, yet none of this helps me place it in context. So I ignored the film altogether and let the music create its own context, song by song.

“Heidi’s Theme.” Landscape tracking. Koyaanisqatsi for a continent that has not yet crowded out its aborigines. This place changes at a pace imperceptible to celluloid.

Wait, the title track comes complete with lyrics. Apparently, this album is about young love, the beginning of an awareness that this twittering feeling is ephemeral and may be meant for memory. The music is enraptured with its scarcity, sketching the least amount of background possible.

“Snowflake” is similar to a hundred other songs, but we learned in elementary school no two are alike the closer you look.

“Rough Sex” is neither naive nor experienced. Mogwai with the volume down.

“Carillion”: “The carillon has the widest dynamic range of any mechanical (non-electric) musical instrument.” Any good writer knows where to find Wikipedia.

“Music Box.” Mum has been here before.

“More Than Scarlet” plays on the second night together. Wonder and knowledge can overlap.

She is staying at “The Siesta Inn” alone with the phone on her lap.

“You’re Hot” is not the soundtrack. It is the film.

“Higher Higher” is the closest to a club this party gets.

“Alpine Way” must lead to a merry-go-round or maybe a tire swing. It carries the kind of conversation forgotten minutes after it’s over, unselfconsciously inhabiting the day.

“Naked Snow” may be the best song here in less than a minute: It announces a moment you can’t keep. Film doesn’t even know how to speak this language.

“Somersault (Score).” Sometimes repetition is just an attempt to hold onto something already gone. Something is leaving even as she sings, “Now you will always be with me.” Maybe she is singing because it is disappearing before her. Gravity does funny things when a body is suspended between walking and falling.


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