a song to stab your ears to
back in 2005, i remember reading a review of bright eyes' i'm wide awake, it's morning, in which the reviewer contended that "lua" was a song so beautiful that you'd want to stab your ears so that they'd never again have to hear anything of lesser beauty. it truly is a beautiful song, but my reaction to it never quite reached that level of profundity.
enter 2008 and a song called "breezy", the last song on a tour-only ep that conor oberst has been hawking at his solo shows. it's a song he wrote about a woman named sabrina duim, aka "breezy", a harpist who recorded and toured with bright eyes during the digital ash in a digital urn tour. on january 13, 2007, at the age of 22, sabrina passed away, apparently of complications from some medications she was taking. upon hearing the song for the first time, i was immediately struck by how hauntingly beautiful it is, and set off to find out more about who it was about. turns out that sabrina was an incredibly amazing woman--brilliantly smart, momentously talented, radiantly beautiful, and extraordinarily warm. just reading about her personality and accomplishments prompts a sharp feeling of loss--i can only imagine the magnitude of that feeling for those who actually knew her. but "breezy" is a song that provides a good approximation. there is a pain in conor's voice that may seem to be too often present when he sings, but in this song and in these circumstances there is no doubting the legitimacy of the quivers of his voice, made all the more haunting by the accompanying reverb. the song is beautiful in any context, but the backstory and the singularity of the subject give it such an added poignancy and sadness--it is absolutely devastating, and definitely a song i would consider stabbing my ears for.
conor oberst : "breezy"
from the ep gentleman's pact (self-released, 2008)
"she was, as a person, perhaps difficult to know, or difficult to understand perfectly, but to try was, for those close to her, to find a great deal of happiness." -- a close friend
a tragic loss of life