I discovered a new Rosebuds track last night via Kelly Crisp on Twitter, the first peek at their upcoming album Loud Planes Fly Low due to be released June 7th on Merge. I also discovered that she and Ivan Howard, her bandmate and chief songriter in the group, had gotten divorced. It was a strange feeling, the mix of anticipation when you can listen to new music from one of your absolute favorite bands and the uncomfortable feeling deep inside that something essential to what you loved about them has changed. Have a listen, if you are so inclined.
I will admit to you that I had a lot of difficulty listening to the song. The Rosebuds’ music, to me, has always been the most romantic stuff amongst my entire collection. I absolutley adore their take on love songs and there was always something a bit intimate about their approach. See “Wildcat” or “Boxcar” or “Blue Bird”. I attributed this to their love, the strength of their relationship and I liked it. I figured, here I am getting older and here is the perfect mature band to “grow up” with. Married, happy and living a rich, rewarding, artistic lifestyle. I was as envious as I was enamoured with the brilliant songwriting.
Now the news that they have split. And that, by accounts, the new album will be a mellow and emotional chronicle of something coming to an end. Something I admired greatly. To say this inspires a bit of sadness in this particular music lover is a dramatic understatement.
Granted, it’s only the relationship that has ended and the band continues on. They will embark shortly on a North American tour together. There is no Boston date, unfortunately, and I wonder if that’s on purpose given the memories here, well chronicled in their earliest song as a couple “Back To Boston”. I don’t know, maybe they will eventually come to the Northeast after the southern dates. I will certainly go and see them. Not only is it always an amazing show but, for all I know, it might be the last time we see them togther.
Maybe it’s me. I have a difficult time with the notion of divorce. I can’t comprehend how two people can end such an intimate relationship and then still work together comfortably. Tour together, fer chrissakes. It boggles my mind, I must admit. Perhaps I need to be more open minded about it, however. Perhaps they can continue to produce wonderful music together as friends and bandmates and the broken relationship will not affect them. Or maybe it will transform them into something new and different and the music will reflect that.
I guess that’s what scares me. The Rosebuds I once knew and loved so much have changed forever. There will never be anything like Birds Make Good Neighbors, so heart rendingly romantic and gorgeous, again. No Night of the Furies, so darkly alluring and passionate. Whatever comes next will be different.
I will purchase listen to Loud Planes Fly Low when it comes out. With a different sort of anticipation than I did for Life Like, perhaps. Not that I don’t expect beauty and wonderful music, but that some of the joy involved might be missing. From me, that is. Not them, necessarily. I would never judge what goes on in someone else’s private life and I know, from my years of fan interaction, they are some of the more wonderful people making music on this planet. No, it’s my own feelings that might affect how I perceive the music this time.
I will attempt to listen to “Second Bird of Paradise” again today. Last night it was very difficult and my perceptions were darkly coloured.
In the end, I may just go back and put on “Let Us Go”, the first Rosebuds song I ever heard and my favorite to this day, and listen to it for the millionth time.
But even that may have changed in meaning, now.
A day later… I find myself adjusting to the news and coming to terms with it. The sheer unrelenting beauty of this song helps. The video, too. Love has many forms and shapes and is ever evolving. Maybe that’s what I need to understand. Maybe this will help me do so.