01 April 2007

You Sparkle Like Our Filthy City

I noticed something really strange recently when I was checking out my Last.FM profile. While perusing the top overall artists section, I noticed an aberration. Certainly the first two are no surprise to me; Bright Eyes is the unquestionable numero uno, and for some odd reason, I find listening to The Crane Wife to be extremely comforting while riding my bicycle to class (explaining the number two rating for The Decemberists), yet sitting there in number three was this man. I knew that I'd been listening to a lot of him recently, I have had "You're In Love Again" stuck in my head more times than I can count in the past few weeks, and "Grass Stains" is pure joy to listen to (as well as quite a lot of fun to watch), yet this still was a surprise to me at first. Where were the Ben Kwellers and the and the Sufjan Stevens' and the Arcade Fires'?

The answer is that considering that my profile reflects my listening from late January on, they are right where they should be. Granted, with enough time, such kicks will be neutralized, and the charts will reflect everything accurately, but when that does happen, Jacob Borshard won't be left in the dust. He is legitimately making a case to be included in my top 10 at least. This is a case where the sum of the music is much much greater than the sum of the parts: in this case, a beautiful tenor and a ukulele.

Mr. Borshard manages to write bedroom pop in the vein of a less orchestral Stuart Murdoch, or a poppier Ben + Vesper, yet despite the somewhat twee sound, he backs it up lyrically too. Phrases like "I know the black of your dress like the back of your neck" from "For Karina" invoke gorgeous imagery and beauty in even the most callous listeners, and the titular "You're in love again, and I've never seen you look so pretty, you sparkle like our filthy city" from the previous "You're In Love Again" just capture my imagination and tug at the old heartstrings. Best of all, however is that both of his albums, 2004's "Songs for a Small Stereo", and 2006's "The Last Brontosaurus" are available as free downloads from his website.

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