Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), poet and songwriter

It's always a joy when you make a chance discovery of a song or album that turns out to be a real gem. That happened a couple of months ago.

Gary Lightbody, the lead singer and central creative force behind Snow Patrol released a side project under the name of Tired Pony, for which he gathered together friends and fellow musicians such as former Snow Patrol member Iain Archer, Pete Buck (REM), Jacknife Lee, Scott McCaughey (part-time REM) and Tom Smith (Editors). The result is an intoxicating collection of generally mellow, slightly countrified songs that grew in the studio through the guiding hand of Lightbody and the alchemy of the musicians there present. They very effectively showcase Lightbody's beautiful relationship-centred lyrics.

I find the following song particularly appealing with its wonderfully evocative words, its slow build up around a repeated chord progression leading to a transcendent conclusion (the type of thing that Sigur Ros do on many of their songs, including the song used in the climactic sequence of Danny Boyle's wonderful film "127 Hours") and the lovely vocal harmonies in the outro, where Lightbody is joined by actress/singer Zooey Deschanel ("500 Days Of Summer").

Kick back, close your eyes and let this wash over you, preferably at dusk, either on headphones or in a large room with the stereo on loud and a nice warm bass sound (it's quite long, but persevere and you get a wonderful payoff in the outro).

:-)


Held In The Arms Of Your Words

This light at the end of the day
When even the highways seem still
The map in my hands folded shut
There isn't one magical word
But a carnival of them instead
Like an old, silent cinema screen

In this light you are framed classically
Just a painting that hangs in my head
That I know like the back of my hand
And with the sun set, the neon awakes
And the cold colours dance on your skin
Finally the modern makes sense to me

You're effortless, you know you are
And all I want to do
Is let you lead me off into the dusk
Our shadows kiss before we do
Right here in the dark
I revel in the calm before the storm

The garden is haunted by us
And every mistake that we've made
Is at peace coz it led us both here
The thought that just burns into me
Of you in the ink of the night
Is the breath-taking danger of you

You're effortless, you know you are
And all I want to do
Is let you lead me off into the dusk
Our shadows kiss before we do
Right here in the dark
I revel in the calm before the storm

This is life
This is all I want from life
It's the fervour and the tenderness combined.
In the dark, in the ever-falling dark,
we are anchorless adrift but barely notice

You're effortless, you know you are
And all I want to do
Is let you lead me off into the dusk
Our shadows kiss before we do
Right here in the dark
I revel in the calm before the storm


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