Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monthly Spin: The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You

The Monthly Spin is a recurring feature on Feminine Things wherein I talked about an album I'm loving and the perfumes I think go with it.

"I haven't finished a thing since I started my life;
I haven't finished a thing since I started my life..."

I freely admit to having totally avoided the Avett Brothers in general and this album in particular because the song "Head Full of Doubt, Heart Full of Promise" was played approximately every two and half minutes for the entire multiple year run of TNT's Saving Grace which I did not enjoy (ads or show) and I got so sick of it I ran in the opposite direction anytime I heard the words, "And now, the Avett Brothers...."

...which, it turns out, was too bad. Here I am, two years later, finally enjoying the album I and Love and You thanks to "I and Love and You" getting into radio rotation on the PDX alt.station 94.7. Because folks, if someone had played "My Heart like a Kick Drum" or "Ill With Want" for me first, I might have overlooked that painful "Head Full of Doubt" period.

I admit that when I first heard "I and Love and You," my first thought went something like this. "Is that the Counting Crows? No..... Did Jakob Dylan's voice get super gravelly? No....." The Avett Brothers' sound feels comfortable and familiar, like you've heard it before, but I wouldn't necessarily call it derivative. I'd more describe it as filling a mental musical space you didn't realize was empty. It's a little bluesy, a little blue grassy, a lot of introspective navel gazing. ("Oh my favorite!" says my partner with sarcasm as he rolls his eyes.) I find it pretty enjoyable and easy to listen to. It seems like the kind of tunes good for a reflective, solo road trip of self-exploration and discovery. Since I indulge myself in such trips with almost monthly frequency, this works for me.

Also, if you're thinking about giving the Avett Brothers a chance, may I recommend you actually start with the 2007 release Emotionalism? It's terrific and not nearly as overplayed, though you'll probably find yourself thinking, "Hey I recognize this!" on the occasional track. I like that the bluegrass roots of the Avett Brothers is more obvious here, which of course makes it less mainstream radio accessible, but probably the better album. My favs off of Emotionalism are 'The Ballad of Love and Hate," "Will You Return", and "I Would Be Sad".

"Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow,
carrying with her the good things we know --
a reason to live, and a reason to grow,
to trust, to hold, to care..."

Recommended if you like: Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, Bob Dylan, Jakob Dylan,  Mumford and Sons

While spinning, wear:  Olympic Orchids Arizona, slumberhouse Rume, Bulgari BLV Pour Homme,  Bellatrix Perfumes TitaniaI don't really know what links these scents together with these songs/musical style in my mind.  I guess I think of these scents as being earthy and beautiful without trying too hard, just sort of appearing out of the ether in their beautiful complexity without even a backward glance of acknowledgment that they were really intensely difficult to create. Which is how I find the Avett Brothers' music -- accessible to the point of being deceptive in its complexity.


Bellatrix said...

You just made my day.

Diana said...

It was completely deserved and totally my pleasure...