What is America?

New Music Monday - Broken Hearts and Road Trips Edition

Today's selections for New Music Monday are a pair of remarkable songs from MMS favorites Basia Bulat and Laura Gibson. Both songs share a common themes of heartbreak and distance, and of relationships in a kind of formless purgatory. Both can also be considered road songs, for slightly different reasons.

Up first we have "Infamous" from Basia Bulat, from her new album Good Advice. Bulat drove from her native Ontario to Kentucky to work with My Morning Jacket's Jim James, who served as producer on the effort, in the wake of a bad breakup. The chorus of the song is both angry and plaintive, with the singer exhorting her lost love "Come back or not but call it off / Come back or don't but turn me down", in an effort to find some closure in the relationship.



Next we have the stunning lyric video for "Empire Builder", the title track from Laura Gibson's forthcoming album. Her journey, which takes her from her home state of Oregon to graduate school in New York, is incorporated as a motif of the song and a theme for the album. Desiring a change in her life, she made the decision to leave everything behind, including her then-boyfriend. Set against a backdrop of the cross-country Amtrak train that lends the album its name, she sings "Hurry up and lose me / hurry up and find me again" to reflect this existential crisis. During the journey she often found herself outside the coverage of cell towers, anguished over whether the lack of affirmation from her love was a reflection of his feeling on her decision or just a failure of technology.



Both artists will be appearing in the DC area in the near future. Basia Bulat will headline a show at the Rock & Roll Hotel next Tuesday, and Laura Gibson will play Iota Club & Cafe four days later.


Comments