Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Song of the Week #1: "Painkillers" by Candy Butchers

Okay, so I'm going to make a valiant attempt to blog more regularly (although I've said that on various occasions previously and failed miserably to keep to it). Decided to start a Song of the Week series, writing a few words about something that's had some impact on me. Not a revolutionary concept by any means, but hopefully other people can find something new or interesting from some of these posts...

So, first up is a key track from one of my absolute favourite albums from the last decade, if not ever. Painkillers is a beautiful but harrowing track that appears halfway through the Candy Butchers album Hang On Mike, and tells the real-life story of singer/songwriter Mike Viola's grief over his wife's death from cancer, and how his new partner was helping him come to terms with it. Summarising it as simply as that feels wrong though, and you really need to hear the song for the full effect (and if you have any soul, you can't help but be affected by it):

MP3: Candy Butchers - Painkillers

"To wake up with Kim again
She's as beautiful as I remember
Spying on me through her long brown hair
Walking beside me without a wheelchair
Somehow I think she returns
To show there's nothing to fear any more..."

I get a lump in my throat listening to it even now, after playing the song hundreds of times since its release at the start of 2004.

The parent album is, quite frankly, a masterpiece. Essentially an autobiographical song-cycle, it takes us through Mike's life from his time as a child prodigy up to the mind-numbing mundanities of touring in a rock band, stopping along the way to discuss names for potential children and an ode to his mother. Again, putting it like that doesn't do the album justice, and it really needs to be heard to be believed.


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