My apologies to Ryan Hall, good friend and author of this post, for the delay in uploading "You Are Worth The Whole World," the delay in posting this, the delay in saying how much we miss you now that you are in Africa, how much we hope that you and Addy are doing well, doing good (we know that you are).
“It’s a blank city, baby, where the buildings get stepped on.”
In an attempt to create something beautiful before my wife wakes up I have only managed to check my e-mail a couple of times. Do adult things like updating my linkedin corporate fascistbook account and looking up the last name of anyone who can service a Volkswagen in rural PA.
Doing something more than sitting on my hands (5 days and we leave the states for a very long time), I recall the first time I ever heard “You’re Worth the Whole World” by British post-IDM/slowcore band Hood blessed with the vocal presence of Yoni Wolf of Why? and Adam Drucker (Doseone). The genealogies of both bands would preoccupy most of my twenties and would eventually culminate in a mixtape, a marriage and a blood-pact to name our first-born Yoni. But, that’s not where it started.
In fact, I don’t really recall where it started. I am extremely fuzzy on the details of how this album even came into my possession. I can’t remember if this was before or after I rescued cLOUDEAD’s self-titled debut from a used CD rack in Salt Lake City. I vaguely recall Skyler Hitchcox saying something about this album…I don’t know. All I remember was a prevailing sense of sadness of Hood’s muted acoustic-electronic compositions. Beats that snap like brittle twigs, acoustic guitar lines plucked faintly through the thin walls of your neighbor’s post-WWII house. Bass rumbling through floorboards of basement practice spaces.
The sadness and sparseness of an acoustic guitar lick, a floor tom, gently plucked piano and a three-note synth horn line is exacerbated by Drucker and Wolf’s ping-ponging of Doseone’s half-sung/half-rapped, chopped and processed polyphonic delivery and Yoni Wolf’s deadpan spoken word beneath the surface. It is impossible to make out more than the occasional snippet and phrase and only then with very liberal interpretation, but still this song cuts to the quick. It is a sad and beautiful strangeness that soars above any sort of genre classifications.
I think it was this inability to place this unknowable, impregnable last track of Cold House into anything I had experienced that has set me on a search to figure it out and has had such a palpable impact on my life. Forest Gospel, starting the Tome, my friendship with Nick, Erin and Atlas, hurriedly typing this before I start a day with a wife who stopped me in mid-sentence when she heard “Crushed Bones”, all stem from hearing this song and wanting to relive it over and over through analysis and experience.
Will Sheff said something true when he said that musicians and writers who write about music are cut from the same cloth. They hear a song that made them feel something and want to recreate the experience again and again. Musicians want to reinterpret that feeling to others, while writers want to explain why it made them feel a certain way.
Five years later and I still can’t figure out if I can separate depression and exaltation in this song or reconcile the ubiquitous sadness of this song and the incredible direction my life has taken because of it. I guess I never will.
Hood feat. Doseone & Why? - "You're Worth The Whole World" by ForestGospel