My wife and I celebrated six years of marriage last night, which is of little consequence to you faithful reader, but over the course of a rare, kid-free night last, we talked about the places we’ve visited and the things we’ve seen. Exploring smaller cities, struggling with language and comprehension; those are the moments of travel that made the most sense to us and the memories we hold close.
When I hear the songs from lake scientist Man Meets Bear, I’m taken back to moments when we drove across a South American border in the back of a station wagon or hunted for addresses in dark alleys. Soren plays fractured folk songs that are heavy on atmosphere, backing textures. He writes melodies that move amongst the people, but even during the most beautiful moments, Dream BC is not an escape or retreat.
Soren supplements his acoustic picking with clinks, clatters and blasts of energy, you sense an uncertainty or unfamiliarity. Oddly enough, songs written and delivered from the most inauspicious and organic elements feel and delivered without any polish are probably the culmination of plotted points and charts. Equations with different coefficients. Melodies heated until they turn from liquid to vapor and then distilled to remove impurities. These are experiments, but done by hand, not through the binary language of 1s and 0s.
These are sketches in notebook, hypothesis and assumptions. They take into account the unpredictability of mankind and try to account for the deviations. That might seem formulaic, but often it’s the only way a scientific brain can understand the uncontrollable. It’s the only way to make sense out of your surroundings.