I like the fact that when I was listening to this track for the first time, my wife - sitting in the other room, sewing - asked if this was David Bazan.
No, my dear, it is not a new Bazan song, but I can hear why you would think so. Tom Filepp, the man behind cars & trains, has a similarly laconic yet heartbreaking approach to singing as the former Pedro The Lion leader does. It's flat but not without dramatics. The perfect compliment to songs of psychological wounds both self-inflicted and otherwise.
In that respect, this is a somewhat hard song to listen to, no matter how beautiful the music is. The lyrics string together a variety of wistful imagery and moments that speak to some ache that resides deep within Filepp's spirit. Looked at another way, it's a song that attempts to accept the matter that as an individual or as a species, we are all alone on this big blue marble.
This is the line that kills me though: "The stars would shine because/they couldn't stand the thought/that they simply had no choice/to shine, exhaust, and rejoice." I have yet to hear a greater philosophical and poetic quatrain set to music so far in 2012.
If you like what you hear, you'll have two chances to own this track.
You can grab it now as part of a free compilation of tunes (including new tracks by Sole & The Skyrider Band, Busdriver, and Astronautalis) available for download via Circle Into Square. Or you can wait until September 18th and pick up a copy of the new cars & trains album We Are All Fire.
Or you can just keep returning to this blog post over and over again and overwork your mouse clicking finger listening to this stream again and again and again. The choice is yours.