J.E. Sunde has been building up to the November release of his new album, 9 Songs About Love, by teasing us all with some great singles from it. It’s going to be a late contender for album of the year if the quality of those three tracks is typical of the rest of the record.
I took some time out after work today to have a look at the video for ‘Love Gone To Seed’. This third single is a sublime piece of jaunty, country-influenced folk. It’s got the anguished simplicity of a Buddy Holly heartbreaker and the melodic beauty of Paul Simon at his least complicated.
Sunde says it’s about “a relationship ending. Probably one whose ending is for the best. However, the fellow can’t really see that and is futilely attempting to hold the relationship together when the other person isn’t interested in that. It also mentions, seemingly as justification for the end of the relationship, the tempting lie that for love to be true and worth pursuing there should be no need for you to compromise in any way”.
We’ve all been there right? That unspoken desperation that characterises a relationship coming to an end, the unseemly addictiveness of the push-pull that gives a sliver of joy within a vista of hurt. In truth, I’ve not been there for a good, few years now and my memories of it are probably more distant than Jonathan Edward’s (that’s what the J.E. stands for) but I can still relate to the feelings when two atoms repel.
The Second single, I Don’t Care To Dance, is on the surface, a more melancholy piece, a slow, woozy dance late one evening, aided by gin and tonics. Sunde’s voice goes all Andy Shauf on us (this is a very good thing) as he ponders how the effects of a toxic masculinity influence his being.
As J.E. says, “It’s about a man finding hope that love might be possible for him after having resigned himself that it wasn’t. It also speaks to the broken expectations and models that are given to men in how they should pursue relationships. Models and expectations that so often turn toxic”.
There is hope. This is music that helps me to smile, to cry and to fly. I hope you’ll like it as much as I.