Today, I’m sure I’ve heard Bike’s new album as much as anyone else in the world, except for Nate. I love it and I think there are some really interesting things happening with it from an aesthetic point of view, so I will share some of what I hear when I listen to A Wind I Can Lean In To.
1- “Someone’s at my door” – The title makes this a perfect start to a record. When someone comes to your door, it’s the start of something; a day in the life, a night out, but something both fairly typical and potentially exciting, even life-changing. Also, the track sounds like chiming doorbells. If I could, I would re-wire my apartment’s doorbell to play this song, and invite people over just to hear it.
2 – 4- These songs all include a theme of loss: “Separation…”, a “Requiem”, and a child whose mother is gone. What kind of beginning is this? But there’s some sense of peace in the middle of the emptiness. The background synth-slides in “A wind I can lean into” foreshadow “The horror!”.
5- At unpredictable times, in the middle of my day, I sometimes find myself singing “Doo doo doot-doo!” over and over.
6- “My blood, my bones” has become one of my favorite Bike songs. It’s amazing to me how this song and “Requiem” can both be perfectly Bike, different-sounding as they are, and belong together like they do. I wonder how this relates to “Song for a motherless child.”
7- Pure turbo-awesomeness. Triumphant. Exuberant.
9- Here’s a song where Nate’s acoustic side and synth side dovetail really well. Lyrically it connects to the album’s theme.
11- Another synthesis, this time between electric guitar and vocals, which we haven’t heard in combination like this before. I love the sort of circular/cyclical riff, the way its end bleeds back into its beginning an octave higher.
12- “This is where we die” – The title brings everything full circle, from beginning “…at my door” to an ending. Musically, it’s like nothing else in the Bike catalog, and the warped piano conjures images of a long-lost, glamorous movie past slipping away; aging actress and again reel-to-reel film machine dying together.