Jesse Jarnow

“untitled demo no. 3″ – akron/family

“Untitled #3″ – Akron/Family (download here)
from WNYC Studio Demos (2006)
(Akron/Family at MySpace)

(file expires on December 21st)

I have a playlist of all the quiet songs I can listen to late at night or right when I wake up. Usually, it’s a matter of finding one or two tracks on a given album. As such, sometimes I wonder if I automatically devalue (say) Iron & Wine’s music because I can drop nearly any song from Sam Beam’s catalogue arbitrarily into the shuffle. Likewise, the ultra-prolific Akron/Family’s forays into the big purdy — like the ambiguous and beautiful “Gone Beyond” from Meek Warrior — sometimes seem too easy. The untitled last track from their self-circulated radio session demos for their next album (produced by Ween collaborator Andrew Weiss, out in spring, can’t wait to hear it, etc), falls into this category.

Besides the lovely rising turn on “moonlight” and “in the daytime,” it doesn’t make much of a case for being something besides a generic psych-folk ballad. The images are even a little hackneyed (“all we see is moonlight drifting from dream to dream”), but somehow it all adds up and makes me want to listen to it repeatedly. Especially in the context of A/F — whose typically ambitious demos also include their usual ecstatic chants (“Ed Is A Portal”), ragged Americana (“Sophia”), and oddball/handclap grooves (untitled no. 1) — it is an inevitable coda. As a single track, almost anybody, in almost any genre, in any decade of the 20th century could have written it. That’s all well and good. Mostly, I like it — especially the woozy faux-Hawaiian slide interlude — because it sounds fucking fantastic when I’m almost asleep.

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