Song: The Carnival Is Over
Band: Dead Can Dance
A fellow music aficionado from university days once allowed that he liked Dead Can Dance but that it was the sort of thing he tended to reserve for Sunday listening. There are actually many days where I’ll find myself appreciating them but I think I understand what he meant; it tends to be quieter, more reflective stuff. This English-Australian duo makes contemporary classical music which explores and connects pan-cultural styles - it often feels like proto-music, as if its structures and underlying themes are constants which have, for eons, compelled musicians and listeners alike. I tend to think of it as soul music for the mind rather than the hips - it’s deep and fulsome and while it can be earthy it’s not about supercharged, shake-yer-butt grooves. Founders Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry possess powerful voices, each with their own distinct merits. The duo has been doing its own thing, off and on, since 1981. They have a richly substantial back catalogue: a treasure trove of tribal beats, medieval vibes and crystalline instrumentation with tinges of ethereal exotica. But perhaps the strongest elements are the remarkable voices themselves: Lisa Gerrard is a superbly gifted singer with operatic range and projection and Perry sounds like a man whose voice spans time itself.
This song, The Carnival Is Over, with its resonant elegance, its lyrical and curious grace, is from the duo’s sixth album, 1993's Into The Labyrinth. It’s the first effort where, rather than incorporating guest musicians, the duo opted to record (in a converted church in Ireland, where Perry was living at the time) all the instruments on their own; this exquisitely mysterious, melancholy composition features his voice. Check out the mesmerizing official video release, below.
Posted by Max MacDonald