The Spinners

Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-drums (Moonface, 2010)

In Canadian, EPs, Folk, Indie Rock, Richard Bolisay on February 4, 2010 at 6:35 am

Dean Martin swings as he sings, When marimba rhythms start to play, dance with me, make me sway.

In Spencer Krug’s new project, the marimba sounds like being played in a wide open forest, where the folk are dancing, jubilating, and praising to the beat of the indefatigable storyteller’s musings on Cassiopeia, being a chameleon, hanging around with bitches, and venturing into a dreamland where he weaves dreams and swims “where the waves have come alive”.

“Marimba and Shit-Drums” is twenty minutes and sixteen seconds of Krug indulgence and being in Krugland, which for a fan like myself, considering his output in the last few years that peaked in Dragonslayer, is a feast to relish. It is a coda that opens to many things, to many folds of long-distance runners reaching Krug on a cliff by the sea, with his marimba and shit-drums and tell-tale music, the trees as his audience, as well as visiting birds and squirrels, the silence that stops by to listen to his retelling of his dreams, the dreammorphing quality of things punctuated by Krug’s pauses and going back to his previous stanzas, like a rolling sphere out to collect some mushrooms.

In one of his dreams (presented beautifully on Moonface’s site), Krug tells:

I am on a mountaintop. I know that I am the only one on the mountain, & even the surrounding mountains —I am completely alone. It is dusk & everything is growing dark quickly. There is a yard cut into the side of the mountain where two houses stand beside each other, one small & one large, but beyond them there are no houses or yards, just deep woods. The sense—or the knowing—is strong in the dream: I am totally alone. I KNOW this. It is not a hunch. I am the only one in the mountains & the rest of the world is far, far below, & the wilderness feels close & connected to me—life giving & terrifying at the same time.

He sings this there, on the mountaintop, but he is not alone. We are there. And even if he sings all night, no one would bother to leave. We’ll light a bonfire if needed. Krug sings like a disappeared bandit telling his rebirth in the forest, or a hunter who, by some magic, turns into a deer at midnight. That’s why he decides to settle in the woods. And we discover he can talk to animals and they share with him their stories, which he puts in every song he writes. And we listen. We listen like it’s a hymn that heals, a hymn that comforts, a hymn that purges. For even a track this epic is begging for a repeat.

– Richard Bolisay

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