Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Longing, love and sentimentality

A mysterious message was delivered into my inbox yesterday, with a link directing me to this video about artist Carson Ellis. If you own any Decemberist albums, or have ever travelled to their site, you’re surely familiar with the her illustrations. There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about them, taking you back to a time when sailors battled the sea and women wore petticoats with pride. I now find her aesthetic inseperable from their songs…very rare these days, where the idea of album artwork has all but faded. I used to love spending Saturday afternoons in the record store, flipping through rows of musty vinyl. Rare Jam imports, Northern Soul compilations, limited edition New Order ep’s…my wish list was endless but when that lucky item finally revealed itself, nothing could stop me from rushing home for a listen. The ritual was to curl up on the couch with album in hand, intent on absorbing every lyric and liner note. That first encounter received all of my attention, and my eyes absorbed the visuals just as my ears absorbed the sounds. When I haul those albums out now, it’s like revisiting old family photos...

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