The sound of contemplative reflection at twilight runs through Ethan Woods’ “Chirin’s Bell.” Tonally its reminiscent of Nick Drake and the impressionistic compositional quality of the music lends itself similarly well to establishing a mood and dreamlike imagery. Hushed drones, processed lap steel and simple acoustic guitar melody with spare percussion to give the track some texture help to make vivid what sounds like the story of a sheep taking stock of its life as a metaphor for the roles we internalize as a matter of life circumstances and the weight we put on ourselves borne out of how that living circumscribes our dreams and aspirations until we learn to dream differently. But also reconciling one’s upbringing and background with establishing your own identity and accepting where you come from rather than reject it outright. People that don’t go through this process often end up going back to their roots in a perhaps misguided attempt to rediscover what they feel they lost. But this song doesn’t seem to be coming from the perspective of life post-self-liberation, but of considering the essence of one’s life to which one was born but considering what else might be possible for yourself. Lines like “I itemize the time you take with your indecision,” “I wonder to myself did I fuck up with my big plan” and “beyond the wooden fence can remain good friends” point to those strains of thought that take you out of mundane existence for a moment. The dramatic arc of the song is subtle but reaches a peak with all the musical elements swelling with the rise in intensity of the vocals wondering again about fucking up but then outros to returning to reminiscing being a part of the herd while considering leaving it. Listen to “Chirin’s Bell” on YouTube, look for Ethan Woods’ second solo album Burnout due out April 29, 2022 through Whatever’s Clever and follow the artist at the links below.
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