From our favorite albums of 2013 feature…
"Normally it’s not this harsh," said Jordan Lee, in a calm yet slightly terrified tone as his gorgeous album unfolded over the absolutely blown-out stereo of a 1995 Honda Prelude. We were bound for Mt. Taurus, the final leg of FMLY Fest Brooklyn.
Only the highest and lowest frequencies survived: unfortunate conditions for any recording, though especially unkind to something as lush and as delicate as Love’s Crushing Diamond. This was the first time Jordan had heard it outside the mixing process. And while self-deprecation is part of his charm, clearly the levels had jarred him. I quickly credited this to the speakers, and we then drifted in wordlessness.
What remained audible was enough to prompt immediate awe, along with an internal conflict of my own: what to say next. Our silence grew; the sun flickered between passing trees, we missed a highway exit. By the end of the second track, all that could surface was: “can you play that one again?”. He obliged, though surely not without concern for interrupted sequence. And he’d oblige again when asked to do the same after the next.
Love’s Crushing Diamond is autumnal in nature, and brilliantly affecting without the influence of personal association or anecdote, but my mind will always return to that late summer morning. That golden drive. That hike, and finally, that performance at the peak of Mt. Taurus. Maybe this somehow compromises the dynamic between blog and musician. But, well, here’s to throwing any unsaid rules to wind (from a figurative mountain, while shouting some real love for a friend’s work of art), after all: perhaps “we weren’t made to be this way.”