|photo by Rich Gilligan|
Instead "A Trick of the Light" gains its emotive power from the all too universal feeling of the sort of helpless uncertainty that sends you looking for answers and signs wherever they come. O'Brien has an award-winning knack for poetic lyricism and he's in exceedingly rare form here immediately offering up an absolutely awe-inspiring metaphor that also manages to tie into theme of swimming and water that one imagines an album titled The Art of Pretending to Swim might wade through. Both surprising and perhaps unsurprisingly so, O'Brien doesn't rely on a whole lot of exposition. He's incredibly succinct as O'Brien gets an incredibly amount of traction out of about two verses and trusts in both those two verses and a particular strong chorus to do, well a hell of a lot. It's perhaps an application to what O'Brien learned writing, recording, and producing a record all of his own that his return to fuller production packs such a punch. Though arguably done with minimalism in terms of production, O'Brien applies it lyrically and the result is a cogent song that is a powder keg of emotion, the fuse of which is lit at the track's very beginning and is properly deploying during its climatic choruses.
The Art of Pretending To Swim, the new record from Villagers, is out September 21st on Domino Record Co. You can pre-order the record here.