Almost 4 years into this whole blogging thing and I finally get to do something I had hoped to be able to do when I started it: premiere a song I love from a band I love. A few weeks back I was emailing with Matt from The Local Strangers and he wondered if I’d be up for picking a song to premiere from their wonderful new record, Take What You Can Carry. I knew even before I got done reading the question exactly what song I wanted to introduce to the world.
‘Goodbye/Goodnight’ came into my life at a time I was living the song. I remember when I first heard it on the beaches of Doe Bay not being aware that it was my life, but as the months unfolded after I returned to the Midwest the song haunted me. I didn’t know the words, but I knew the sentiments- I knew all too well those awkward minutes/hours/days of not saying what you mean, or being scared the other person might just do exactly that. By the time I heard it again at a house show outside of Chicago my marriage was on the way to being dissolved, and I remember sitting there five feet away from Matt and Aubrey being punched right in the feelings. Those are the memories- painful, yes, but worth it now- that I’ve attached to the acoustic version you hear below. There’s never a time I hear those two play that song that I don’t run those memories through my brain, and this acoustic version still packs the same haunting punch as that first time I heard it.
This new, full band version of ‘Goodbye/Goodnight’ sounds and feels like a sepia-toned memory, that slide guitar adding a bit of calming distance. It’s romantic in its recounting of the pain and breakdown, as though there’s been enough distance from that pain to realize it was something to learn from, and in the end the right thing happened. I again find myself living this song. It’s so much nicer on this side, and it makes me love this song even more. I love when music grows with you, and I love that my friends have written a song that’s done just that for me.
The Local Strangers will be releasing Take What You Can Carry next Tuesday, March 3rd, which you can pre-order right here (which you really should do, guys and girls, cause they’ll give you both versions of the song you find below as well as full band and acoustic versions of two other tracks on the album). It’s a wonderful piece of work and I’m so, so proud of my friends. Enjoy.