Æ: Aglet Eaters

Two Dancers – Wild Beasts

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on September 8, 2012

What is this odd contraption that you are aiming at us?

I don’t speak the language of lyrics.

It’s one of the traits I am least proud of because a heady melody can lead me to ignore a compelling story.

But if there really is a craft to the words, a song will bring me back. Maybe not right that minute. Maybe not even that year. But one day I’ll hear it playing in the back of my mind, and I’ll turn it on to appease the earworm. And the hungry creature will ask for more. And I’ll keep feeding it until finally, a rusty little cog in my brain will shudder awake and the worm will vanish, knowing it’s done its job.

So here – two years after seeing Wild Beasts on stage and three following the release of Two Dancers –  I find the title track looping incessantly around my mind. I liked it, on first listen, but it hadn’t really got me by the throat. If anything, it was ‘The Song Before ‘Two Dancers II”

Funny that, because right now I can’t even bring to mind what the second one sounds like.

I’ve had it happen before. Innocuous songs come to me in shreds. ‘They dragged me by my ankles through the street’ hadn’t left me since the first listen. Neither had ‘They passed me round them like a piece of meat’. But now ‘I feel as if I’ve been where you have been’ was echoing off the walls of my skull, fading out and starting over, prancing around with unknown intent. What could it possibly want?

I turned it on.

‘His hairy hands/His falling fists
 His dancing cock/Down by his knees’

Why don’t I listen?

Now the ankles were more apparent. So far, they had been a pair of blurry wrists in my inattentive mind. So was the desolate acceptance of ‘I’ve seen my children turn away from me’ – if that voice had eyes, they would be lowered and unfocussed. And then there’s that lie of a line:

‘Oh do you want my bones between your teeth’

The fraud – it’s the one that led me astray in the first place. You can’t help registering it because of the silence that comes before – the act so concrete, but still so intangible . Distracting. It left me mulling over it while ‘they pulled me half alive out of the sea’ washed over me. I hear the words, but because their meaning is so disparate from what I interpreted the line before to mean, I opt to gloss over them.

Still – I can hear where the name comes from. No matter how you read it or hear it, the track dances. Maybe it’s the voices – don’t think I missed ‘two hearts’ swirling behind the second verse, Hayden. It rises, and floats, and flies. The voice is heavy, as is the lump pulled out of the sea, as is the heart within it. It’s devastating but still – it’s fluid and rhythmic and as it breathes, it takes you in.

It’s a shame – I can’t listen to anything else from the album anymore.

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