Last Days Of Wonder
saki 040 - 2006
A collection of country folk love songs sung in airports, garbage dumps, drive-thru windows & shark-infested waters. The album celebrates the little miraculous moments of beauty found in everyday life: a golf course shining in the rain, hanging lights bouncing in the breeze, pigeons singing from billboards, trees blooming in squares of dirt. The songs linger on those moments when we\'re pulled from the ordinary to feel awed by mystery, bewildered by beauty, terrified by the vast unknowable around us (whether we wander through shady groves or crowded parking lots). Brett Sparks, who writes the music, draws from medieval melody, country-politan string arrangements, tin-pan alley crooners, & dusty hillbilly records to weave together the fabric of this record. Rennie Sparks, who writes the lyrics, makes magical realism from polar adventure stories, turn-of-the-century electricity wars, pagan hunting songs & her own time spent (like most people) riding up elevators, staring out hotel room windows, & driving interstate highways. The inspiration for the words in these songs comes from Rennie\'s belief that not only does our present world feel like the last days of wonder, but that human life has always felt just this way: full of a sense of impending doom & inevitable self-destruction, but simultaneously steeped in the sacred, the infinite, the impenetrable, the ever-wondrous. Brett\'s musical compositions & recording process were hybrids of the old & the new; the real & the fake; the analog & the digital. The album is full of such ancient & modern anomalies: analog compressors, vintage instruments & condenser mics, all drawn into the digital world of computer recording. Pedal steel parts were e-mailed from Chicago (Stephen Dorocke-FREAKWATER & JESSE SYKES) & musical saw part sent from London (DAVID COULTER-TEST DEPT, POGUES, TOM WAITS). \"Last Days\" travels from swamps & caves to laboratories & bowling alleys, always celebrating the mystery & madness in love. The songs explain who\'s hanging shoes on telephone wires, why automatic sinks in airports sometimes don\'t see your hands, & why The Handsome Family refuses to go to Heaven unless flies can come too. Also, a tender tale of Tesla\'s last days: his love for wounded pigeons & his ability to explode light bulbs with his mind. Rennie is eaten by a wild boar. Brett threatens to pull the stars down from the sky. A record of love songs in the true Romantic sense.