…hidden dimensions of human existence, Track x Track, AWSDOTR – Deathbed Lullabies
by Walter Price
Dark, honest, thought-provoking, and a bit scary in places, Swedish modern blues purveyor, Hardy Hum, and his explosive And We Should Die Of That Roar just dropped their highly anticipated album, Deathbed Lullabies. And as we’ve spoken about most of the tracks as they’ve been released, it wasn’t until we got ahold of the entire album to understand Hum’s staggering vision. This set isn’t art for the squeamish nor the nonchalant passerby, this is a 7-track new-world-folk thinkpiece that’ll spark conversation for the unforetold future.
To gain the utmost perspective, we’ll utilize the artist’s own points of view to go track x track this ‘hidden dimensions of human existence‘ album.
“With its reflective gaze Deathbed Lullabies offers seven songs, each of which provides glimpses of those oft-neglected and hidden dimensions of human existence. The album is an ode to life and death and our being in the world as individuals but, above all, as social beings forged in our relations to others and entangled in the web of emotions spun by these relations. When facing finitude – and final goodbyes – what would we say to each other? What would we admit of regretting? What would we praise? What thoughts and emotions would we share?”
I Found God
I Found God is a note on the cruelty of the World and life. It is a testimony of the tension between humanity’s coping with sufferings of everyday life and the mocking gaze of eternity.
Darkness Calling Me
Darkness Calling Me is a studio version of a song with the same title recorded live for 24NT TV in 2017. This is a song about life as a punishment of unending suffering caused by the loss of a loved one. The loss and the pain that it causes defines all dimensions of existence turning the sufferer into an undesirable creature no one can cope with. The unending yet unrealizable yearning for the return of the loved one transcends the burden of loss into a burden of loss AND eternal solitude.
Deep In Earth
“Deep In Earth my love is lying, and I must weep alone”, is a poem penned by Edgar Alan Poe more than a century ago. This single is an ode to this line – a line which, at first glance, might seem obvious and dull but which, at a closer look, reveals an intricate weave of human emotions entangled in our close relations. To me, this poem stands out as the ultimate portrait of loss of someone close. It is a monument of true love built on mutuality and sharing and it teaches us that losing a loved one is much more than merely the absence of one person in our lives. It changes everything, forever.
I’m Bad News
“There’s a person living in each and every one of us that – torn and mangled by the less pleasant circumstances in life – has become, to a varying extent, a less flattering version of how we see our selves and how we want others to see us. This is a person we readily keep in confinement, shackled in a cold dark basement, at safe distance from all the judging eyes, including one’s own. Exposing too much of it to the people around you might risk burdening them or, even worse, hurting them.”
“I’m Bad News is an ode to the pitch-black darkness of the human steaminess, to the other side of the coin, to the tens of thousands of suppressed screams behind polite smiles…”
By deploying the narrative of apocalyptic “cataclysm”, Deathbed Lullaby aims to evoke the magnitude of a total loss expressed as the last words of a dying Caesar-like-protagonist directed to all his ‘Brutuses’. And yet, by singing out his naked heart on his deathbed, the hero turns his song into a deadly weapon killing anyone who hears it and, thus, transforming the anguish of betrayal into a serenity of eternal finitude.
I’d Rather Be Dead
Betrayal is a heavy load. It has the power to easily eclipse and consequently weakens any bonds of love and mutual respect. But even with bonds being compromised the feeling of love might often linger on, overwhelming, completely irrational, and all-consuming. Which makes the bond even stronger – perhaps even unbreakable because it’s like being sentenced to eternal captivity in-between devotion and treason, between affection and the damage caused. Or in other words, once soaked in anguish and gloom of betrayal, the bond starts perpetuating the pain that caused its brake and its rise for all times to come. But the pain is not only the monument of things gone wrong – it is also an assurance that the relationship indeed was real – evidence of true love. I’d Rather Be Dead is praise to this multifaceted state of being in the world.
It’s sad enough when the World is blind to your suffering. But it’s when those who matter the most to you fail to see your pain that hurting reaches new dimensions. The more the pain consumes you, the bigger your need to share it. The less you get to share it, the more it becomes you. Hands Clapping is a melancholic reminder of the difference our love and kindness to one another, or the lack of it, really makes. Or as the song goes, “I hurt easy, I just don’t show it. You can hurt someone and not even know it.” (Dylan, B., Things Have Changed). Some of us are made stout, with thick skins and resilient hearts. Others more like brittle dandelions in the fiercest of the storms. But underneath we all have the need to be seen and recognized. And even more importantly, our failure to give as much to people around us makes us co-responsible for whatever the outcome of their suffering.
+ Where We Lay Our Bones (2019)
Artist photo by Gunnar Hagberg
Recorded in Old Country Road Studio, Sweden
Recording, mixing, production: Hardy Hum
Lyrics & music. Hardy Hum
All instruments and vocals: Hardy Hum
Master: Kevin McNoldy courtesy of Cphonic Mastering
Artwork: Igor Gruda courtesy of Grafotopia
“And We Should Die Of That Roar is a one-man musical soirée, instigated and run since 2014 by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Hardy Hum. Hardy’s music has been described as “incredibly innovative” (Pure M Magazine), “truly unique and powerful” (Res Magazine) with an immediately distinguishable sound that is “drenched in whiskey, aged with smoke and fired with emotion and power” (ibid). This, however, is but a dark echo of a more distant past.” – bio