Thursday, December 15, 2011

Song #50 of 9999 - Magic Hour by Fruit Bats

Song #50 of 9999

Title: Magic Hour
Artist: Fruit Bats
Year: 2003
Album: Mouthfuls

It's funny how some songs work their way into our lives. I cannot for the life of me remember how or when I heard this song. It seems like the kind of thing that would show up in some Zach Braff movie or something, but I think I only think that because the song references the Garden State and Zach Braff made a movie called Garden State with a soundtrack featuring The Shins who are obliquely connected to Fruit Bats.

So regardless of how this song found me, I was instantly hooked by this opening stanza:

I'll wait till I see a cloud
Shaped like the Garden State
And little stars are cars at turnpike gates
And the moon is Delaware

This is the kind of lyric that not only paints a picture in your head but it evokes a specific feeling. Like being in a Zach Braff movie and you're laying on the ground next to some girl looking up at the sky (in this scenario, you are Zach Braff) and talking about your fears and the future. But then the song gets even better when the chorus somehow uses a transitional Bb chord to magically modulate from C to D. It's a really cool and surprising progression made even more clever by the waltz-like syncopation in the drums upon arriving in D. Supremely clever and understated.

Zach Braff would have been so proud.

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