Thursday, December 11, 2008

In case you missed it: Jai Agnish's Awake in Your Dreams

I’ve been listening to Jai Agnish’s new album “Awake in your Dreams” on my ipod as I travel around the city. It’s cold out there right now, and my brow hardens as he tries to win me over.

Agnish’s music is a mix of acoustic guitar and the simplest of melodies on his Roland keyboard – it has a little of the Silver Jews in it. The tone of the Roland is like a child tentatively finding sounds for the first time, and it sits just about perfectly with his lyrics, because his writing is more than anything about restraint. There are lines like “Her Face is like the sun” from “An American,” or “I found a new friend/ We found love” from “We Found Love.” Lyrics like these sometimes leave me wondering how deep Agnish’s thinking about what he writes really goes, but more often they just wrap me up in an innocence which really warms me as I listen, walking the winter streets of Boston.

There are tracks where this cheeriness slips into something a little too upbeat for my cynical and twisted mind. In “India” he sings “I told our tour guide/ this journey’s been sanitized,” and I can’t help but think to myself ‘where’s the darkness that must inhabit this life too, along with the joy?’

But we shouldn’t hold this against him. When Agnish sings “Quick hop into the shower/ don’t use all the hot water/ sing the song of your heart/ sing the song of your heart” in the track “Your Dreams” he is giving us something sweet and lush to savor, and more fool me for second-guessing the value of a gift like that.

[The entire album is available free here]

1 comment:

Hiten said...

I'm downloading this tonight :-)