Thursday, October 13, 2016

Songs About People # 238 Leif Erikson

My feelings about Interpol, who are responsible for this song are bound up with a gig I saw them playing before they broke really big in 2001, in New York City on a trip that I made over there with a couple of friends of mine. Playing on a double bill with The Walkmen who I found much more impressive, I was distinctly underwhelmed by the obvious, heavy Joy Division influence in their sound and dismissed them.

Fifteen years later and after an hour spent this morning in the company of their debut album Turn on the Bright Lights, I realise I've done them at least partial disservice. It's an impressive record, obviously deeply informed by that aforementioned band, but still it speaks fluently itself of a very particular urban unease and anxiety, particularly one experienced when you're young. Here's its final track, named, (for reasons that remain obscure when actually listening to it), after the man reputed to have reached North America several hundred years before Columbus did.

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