Today’s plan called for an afternoon run (postponed) and this evening’s 90 minute tempo spin while HRH is at her Leader’s Corp program. Really, I’m just maintaining a easy-moderate pace this evening as my legs are still a bit banged up from Sunday’s “Icepocalypse” run (click HERE) so I’m listening to something that you wouldn’t really think of as a go-to album for, shall we say, inspiration, the ‘Home Is In Your Head‘ album by His Name Is Alive.
Dark, disturbing, and beautiful, His Name Is Alive’s ‘Home Is in Your Head‘ develops the deceptively simple, abstractly emotional music they have become best known for – providing you already know who they are.
And I doubt many do.
There’s a bit of a backstory to this album in that I did a LOT of drugs to this album back in university. I loved it but it likely did nothing to positively affect my fluctuating mood swings back then.
Anyway, held together by Warren Defever’s artful production, its 23 songs range from jealous contemplation to spiritual concerns, from gentle folk to white noise guitar outbursts. Karin Oliver’s supple voice lends itself to an array of musical and emotional settings: she’s acidly sweet on ‘The Charmer‘s brittle taunt “Where is your head now?/I should nail it to her door/Where are your hands now?/I know what you’d use them for.” On ‘Why People Disappear‘, she’s more pensive: “Maybe I know as much as I ever will/We’ve been forever.”
Needless to say there is lot’s to contemplate in the saddle this evening.
The numerous instrumentals and interludes add to the overall yearning, searching mood. ‘Her Eyes Were Huge Things‘ builds subtle strumming and Oliver’s sighs into an evocative spell, while ‘Hope Called in Sick‘ crashes in with loud, wailing guitars. The group’s sound collages also find more purpose here than on it’s previous album ‘Livonia‘; the chanting children on ‘Put Your Finger in Your Eye‘ are downright unnerving, and ‘Spirit and Body‘ conjures a story of loss out of a ticking watch and just-audible snippets of conversation. With the oddly comforting finale, ‘Dreams Are of the Body‘, the album completes a seamless exploration of music and emotion. My favorite though, is the absolutely trippy and introspective ‘Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking‘ which has a few second snippet featured in the movie ‘Jerry Macguire‘*…but likely nobody ever noticed.
While an odd choice for a tempo spin, it was still a decent trip down memory lane. If if I wasn’t “tripping the light fantastic” this particular trip around the sun. One can’t help what but wonder what my former self would think if he knew that 20 -some-odd years later I’d be listening to this same album on a spin bike…in a gym. It likely would have imploded my young child’s fragile, egg-shell mind.
*Which jokingly earned the band the moniker “the band that gave Tom Cruise a nervous breakdown.”