A number of albums in my record collection have taken me a little while to appreciate and understand, but none have escaped me quite like the sophomore effort Four Cornered Night, by Jets To Brazil.
I can’t think of a more eagerly anticipated record by me and my friends after spinning the shit out of the first JTB album Orange Rhyming Dictionary.
When I saw I received a package from Jade Tree Records a few weeks before the street date release of the record - I nearly wet myself in anticipation for the record I thought would be the soundtrack to my summer.
Instead I stared blankly at a strange album cover and compact disc art that was an obvious nod to DECCA Records(possibly the WHO?).
I listened to disc from beginning to end and struggled to let the album take root in any of my stereo’s long enough for me to discover how incredible the record turned out to be.
Over the years, there have been a few times where I would dig out Four Cornered Night and slip into some of the more discernible tracks like “Air Traffic Control” and “Little Light” and “Milk and Apples”. I would then slip it back into my disc collection where it would sit for years on end before I pulled it out again and gave it a quick spin fornostalgic purposes.
When I pulled the record out the other day… something compelled me to finally give it a proper listen. I looked at the release date of the record… thought to myself where the fuck did 11 years of my life disappear and then I decided to do a little research on the record.
What interested me most about the album was that Blake Schwarzenbach was thirty three (my current age) at the time this album was recorded and released. I finally gave the record a proper listen and rediscovered what may be one of the best kept gems in my music collection.
I lazily dismissed the album to be a sleepy pop effort, when in actuality it’s a record that has an incredible amount of heartache, self referential mentions to other songs on the album/their previous record, himself, his band, his family… his life. There’s even a few mentions of serious self doubt and him opting to choose life.
The song that song that seemed to sink my heart the most was the song “Little Light” after many repetitive listens. The song is sorta a keystone of sorts. The first part of the song describes an awkward drive somewhere non de script and coming to the realization that something has ended. I related to this on a number of personal levels, seeing how I took a drive across America last year and made the same self discovery while driving hours on end. The track however ends with the mess that is, recording a record and committing something in your head to tape.
While I wish it didn’t take me as long to discover the greatness of this album, I’m sorta glad that I rediscovered the record at the age of 33. I sorta feel like I can see it the same way Blake did at the time he penned it.