Saturday, August 22, 2015

Release of the Day: Hums & Haws - Hums & Haws

The songs on Hums & Haws self-titled cassette were recorded in Matt Kordonowy's basement in 2011. As adventures in autoexpression, these songs vary in theme and delivery, like human experience. Where "Honey-Day Parade" could conceivably have found a home in the Flying Nun catalog, a lurching tune like "Gossamer," though certainly pop-influenced, doesn't evoke the same lithe pleasantry.

This isn't a mistake: Hums & Haws isn't a simple listen. The collection finds roots in lucid, existential dread. On the last track, "Backstory," Matt enlightens the listener, hipping us to our strange, puppet-like, corporeal make up: "We are all delicate fleshlings, small intricate systems of heat/I will try to create you string, wood, and a piece of meat." It's a disturbing thought, especially when you start to think about just how rope-like our central nervous system is. But Matt's out for bigger game than flesh and bones: on the first track he tackles Philosophy of Mind, "you're staring at the back of your head/looking down from above at your mind below/and I ask myself where did I go?" Where's the mind and which one of us has this thing anyway? If you're perceiving the mind, are you embodying the mind or are you experience mind-perception?

These are big questions, and thanks to Matt's poetic touch and delicate auditory understanding, can be digested piece meal. Comprehend phonetics, then comprehend symantics, then comprehend dialectic,  then comprehend comprehension. Rinse. Wash.
Repeat. So easy, even a child could do it, right?

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