Be Wild

Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts by M83

Today I am doing my first skip over an album; I simply have not been able to find Song: Ohia's Didn't It Rain, so I plan on waiting until I have a free opportunity to go out and find it on my own. Therefore, the album I'm listening to today is M83's Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts.

The album opens with the track "Birds", featuring, of course, birds, and underneath synths and keyboards that slowly build up, while the words "Sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are growing, clouds are looming and I am flying" are repeated over and over like an incantation. It then launches into "Unrecorded", and from there we are relentlessly projected into a synesthesia-inducing soundscape.

Particularly amazing about the album is the layering of synths and electronic glitches to create a wall of droning sound, which instead of simply overwhelming the senses, happens to be melodic and warm. Apart from what the album cover would have you believe, the music is far from icy or crushing. It feels immediately familiar, without ever having heard it before.

The only tracks on the album that feature any lyrics would be "Birds", "Run Into Flowers", "America" and "0078". The rest are instrumental, and the album ends with the 14 minute "Beauties Can Die" that eases us back into reality. Actually the absence of lyrics is barely missed; the majority of the lyrics on the album aim to subtly remove us from reality, haunting, but out of context almost meaningless. "America", for example, seems to be about a woman who has fainted and is in the hospital, and talks about how their dead friend is still with them. The track ends with the line "Listen, listen now. There's one who's blind, she's the one that can see"; "Run Into Flowers", on the other hand, repeats the single line "Give me peace and chemicals, I want to run into".

M83's music has always been described as slightly cinematic; it's not so much hearing or even seeing as experiencing.

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