This week’s track is a cover of Nirvana’s In Bloom, which appeared on the Nevermind album. I really loved Nirvana for years, and am still very fond of their music. Not unusual, I was an angry, bored and trouble making teenager, looking for an outlet and escape from my reality. The emotion expressed through the raw sound of Nirvana consistently gave me a way to release some angst without really dealing with it - awesome. The first album I ever owned was In Utero - awesome.
In Bloom written by Kurt Cobain, draws attention to fans that don’t really understand or connect with Nirvana’s music, but sing along due to its popularity. Ironically, the In Bloom arrangement finally recorded for Nevermind has quite a catchy melody and mostly well articulated lyrics, enabling the masses to sing along. Joke’s on us I suppose….
The cover Sturgill Simpson brings us is very different, arguably expanding on Kurt Cobain’s original spirit of the song. Adapting the lyrics to suit him, Sturgill has added “Don’t know what it means to love someone” after each chorus. The sound and instruments appearing on the track by Sturgill are similar to those used in the rest of the album, A Sailor's Guide to Earth. Released in 2016 and produced by Sturgill himself, it won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album. It is as if Sturgill threw a blanket in the air and rested it down over all the feelings, instruments, genres and places in the world to capture this piece. In his own words "I decided to write the whole record from the perspective of a sailor going to sea and not knowing if he's ever coming home." Wow, now that’s how you get treasures to float to the surface, brave and honest.
Knowing the original track, Sturgill brings us some real contradictions, his voice full, round and easy, is expressive, definitely country and seemingly inexhaustible. He sings the confronting lyrics “we can have some more, nature is a whore” to an almost angelic instrumental arrangement, complex and unique he creates drama in all the right places, the big difference in Sturgill’s version is……hope.
The film clip focus’s on a boy in a boat, surrounded by darkness and water, perhaps trapped in a way of thinking. Trying to search for something and looking for some connection around him, he feels the love in his heart and finds a way home. Abstract enough to be interesting and clear enough to be understood, the clip matches his version well and makes this a very different version of something that wasn’t broken, but certainly frozen in time and, creating for us a different perspective on something that already exists. Helping us to articulate a new feeling and a new way of thinking about something we thought we knew all about.
Perspective, a way of looking at something. So if this is a choice, and we are having trouble digesting someone, something someone said or, the way someone treats us, maybe we can force ourselves to think outside the square, just to see what happens…..What would be the opposite to what I think now? How does that feel? Does it feel better? Maybe choosing our perspective would help to make things a bit easier on ourselves. Next time you are having trouble swallowing something someone said, spit it out, cut it up and have a look at it. It might just change into something else you don’t mind so much. Maybe we can give ourselves a little push to move through our sameness and enable a different version of ourselves to be created, take form, emerge and bloom.
You can learn more about Sturgill Simpson here:
About the Curator: Erin Murray
Erin, a Mother of 1 little man and wife to 1 big man has learnt much about herself in the past few years. After moving from the city to the bush (near the Ocean), there weren’t as many distractions as she had become accustomed to, in a smaller community she lost her anonymity and slowly began to become aware of herself, her feelings, the life she had created for herself and her relationships with others. Seeking change from the feelings and behaviors which had become her normal, she sought out methods to do just that. Slowly at first, then a bit more and a bit more she is becoming aware of what she actually wants for herself and has begun removing the things that aren’t that, inside and out. Learning about faith (not religionJ), fun and how to be gentle with herself and others along the way.