Victor Florence – Autumn

So, Victor Florence continues to evolve and come up with stuff that is very different from what I thought his next album would sound like, specially the first and second songs, but the singing style in most of the whole thing, as well as the lyrics. At the same time, it continues to be beautiful and emotionally thick.

I just love this guy’s music. He’s always up there with the dozen or so guys I always think about when I think of these “extreme independent” music I came to appreciate so much more than all of the music industry combined. Fuck Lana del Rey (hopefully), if there’s a guy sitting in his room coming up with his best effort at music, arriving at strange, quaint stuff that doesn’t really belong to any genre, that’s what I’m interested in listening to. Idiosincratic music that isn’t aimed at repaying a contract with some label or record company, born out of absolute boredom, the idleness of youth, a vague hope at living off music that will probably never amount to anything. This guy wants to show you his music because you are his friend and no one else wants to listen to it. The fact that you don’t actually know him doesn’t actually matter much, it’s just more human and real and true.

I exchanged e-mails with him a few months ago, I asked him how the last season’s album was going. He had this to say: “Autumn is not going at all. I’m stuck in a pretty bad lull, lyric
wise. I want to find my own voice, lyrically but nothing is coming and all that”. Less than a month after, the fourth season album was out. I feel glad that I was here to follow this “finding his own voice” thing in real time.

It’s really becoming closer and closer to poetry, but that is a huge cause for concern. Once you start to express yourself in less of folk or rock lyrics and more as poetry, you stand to be compared to some pretty badass dudes and that’s daunting. I tried not to actually do that, but it wasn’t that hard. A considerable part of the lyrics wouldn’t feel as emotionally charged when read as when you listen to him singing it. The successful combo of pretty melodies and emotive singing is probably the most enduring characteristic that ties all his albums together. Maintaining it through dozens of songs and learning how to enhance it with musical experiments is the stuff of the opus at this point. It has arrived at an interesting moment, specially on the first track, which aims at a roughness of sound that you’d find before in some singing moments or at whole songs that profit from the age-old technique of punching the acoustic guitar desperately like a mad man.

As for the future, keep doing your thing. I think millions can like this stuff, you just gotta sell it to them somehow.

-Carpeaux

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