A river of recordings by our very own Northwest artists comes flowing by at a steady current, drifting along the banks of our ears here at Audioasis headquarters. This area of the country boasts talent, but every now and then something special snags on the rocks, coming ashore, grabbing our attention. One in particular stood out for its lo-fi charm, storybook opener, and extensive roster of players. Sailor System…is it a theme record or not? Correlating with my own intro to this blog, at first glance this sixth offering from Your Heart Breaks seems to be nautical in its whimsy. The ocean brushing against the sand and seagull jabber serve as an interlude, songs are titled “Sand Dollar”, “Captain My Captain” and the CD itself is a play on words using a sea character, and the album is advertised as a duo with the previous release, New Ocean Waves. On the other hand, not all the tracks pertain to the vast entity of the sea found on Earth. Song titles like “Orion” and “God Speed John Glenn” hint at the other dark and largely yet-to-be-fully-explored expanse, outer space. The coy album title ties this connection as well.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into the meaning behind the choices made on this CD, or this is the manifesto lead man Clyde Peterson was going for. What ever the case may be, these are eight delightful tracks created by not only Peterson and fellow permanent band mates Karl Blau and Steve Moore, but seemingly everyone who has a name in the underground-indie music scene right now. Let us see: Laura Veirs, Adam Oelsner of Kickball, Cindy Wonderful, Lori Goldston (along with many other Black Cat Orchestra members), and this is just barely scraping the surface of over 20 others. It was released on Don’t Stop Believin’ Records last year.
On the nautical end of things, the shiner on this CD and the one which hooked me in was the opener, “Captain My Captain.” What a way to start things off, with a sad tale of a captain’s crew who decided to sneak off while the ol’ captain wasn’t paying attention. But while getting boozed, they also happen to meet their demise. The captain’s attention is turned to the night stars (ah, so the astronomical element is brought into this song) all the while. A chorus of the plethora of guest back-up singers starring as the hopeless sailors at the end of the song just clinches it; a little girl’s voice in amongst is the best touch.
They’ve been quoted as announcing themselves as storytellers, and I believe from this sample of their work that Your Heart Breaks deserve the description. Catch them sharing their stories tonight at a house venue TONIGHT!!!! (Refer to the band’s MySpace for more details.)