Already a great song, Nick Delffs' "Water in the Eyes of Man" takes on an epic, John Lennon quality in this live recording from Southeast Portland basement venue the Banana Stand. The Death Songiest of all Delffs' recordings under the Death Songs moniker, the tune makes some universal sentiments—about death, friendship and healing—sound fresh. At once gushing and heartbreakingly plainspoken, the former Shaky Hands frontman's words are on the brink of hysteria—they read like a fit of existential crisis on paper—but he's melodic and reassuring in his delivery.
Of course, I'd still play this on repeat a dozen times if Delffs was reciting his ABCs. His voice and phrasing are really something special here, and he remains one of the most compelling singer-songwriters in Portland. The stark musical setting (check out the excellent Death Songs EP for a speedy, guitar-driven rendition) only brings that to the fore.
This track will be on Banana Stand Media's forthcoming compilation, Live From the Banana Stand, Vol. 1. The fine folks at that studio/venue are throwing a big-ass free party on June 10 at the Hawthorne Theater to celebrate the release.