Bobby Would - Relics Of Our Life LP

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"I wish I could turn or turn back"

"Sometimes it’s hard to resist the feeling that there was a crucial turn in life out of which everything else flowed. Maybe in our more reasonable frames of mind we can dismiss that thought and take our plans and intentions very seriously. But, there’s often a lurking conviction that, like the oak from the acorn or the movie from its opening scene, it is already all there. In the first moment of Relics of Our Life, anything could happen, anything could come next. But as the suspense is broken with the first notes, the world of the record springs up as both an internal experience and a landscape of which we will learn something, but definitely not everything. The songs induce a swimming sense of cycling repetition and variation where shifting details tilt the ground under us. The round and round doesn’t make us dizzy; like breathing the right way, it makes us both heavier and higher. 

Pawliczek’s songs can be located in the company of the greats of Flying Nun Records – maybe the delicacy of The Great Unwashed with the heavy heart of The Verlaines and smartness of The Chills. But, ultimately, his interests are elsewhere – a heart-break song over an earthly lover feels like only the tipping point for longing and devotion that outstrips the personal. In this sense, Popul Vuh for their hymnal geometry and switched-on Palestrina, and Terry Riley for cosmic elation come to mind. The songs have sweeping and cinematic proportions and depths of field constrained by a pop economy love of leanness. 

But who’s supplicating whom here? The songs’ devotional quality is not upward to the sacred or even outward to the profane. It’s more like a magnetism between its elements – sounds, voices and rhythms. The track No Talk intones “why don’t you talk to me?” over a driving guitar and one feels visited by some kind of archaic god on whom the tables have been turned, finding himself jealous of our thousand little thoughts. The record finishes with his distorted lilting dance, trying to seduce us with some red red wine that is no one’s blood, but everyone’s favorite drug." -- Karina Gill (Cindy, Flowertown) 2024

Digital Regress, 2024