Back in the days of yore, say June 20th of this year, before there was a Shrimper website, Franklin Bruno released a new digital EP with his band The Human Hearts. The first full length Human Hearts record made it’s debut on Shrimper in 2012, and playing on a theme is something Bruno loves to do as noted by the next 2016 Human Hearts release, and now, as a send off to our morbidly obsolete president, we have his 2020 entry. As we doze and awaken to the same ashen sky with only our shadows cluing us in that time has passed in our absence, it has become difficult to tell when anything truly comes out anymore, if those records I ordered and received a few months back still belong to me or have in fact dissolved into a sea of other records, mimicking and finally becoming the jackets and pressings of records I had owned previously. Another record by Bill Callahan, Feeway Bill, Bill Withers, Bill to Spill, Bill Direen & The Billders, Bill at Will, Bill To Power, Chico DeBillDeBarge etc. I get lost as they morph and lose their shape melting into one another.
Having written that, I can say that the aluminum burns that are eating away at my carpeting thanks in large part to my addiction to physical goods, in this case my freshly burned CDR of this Human Hearts EP is worth the damage it inflicted on my place as its freshly minted backside and sharpied face dripped from the library to the kitchen. It appears to be a trail of something resembling mercury, rolling on the floorboards when my weight tips the scale of the house. So I tiptoe and hop quick to keep from disturbing it. I need to hold onto these tiles, all of them. They have all of the elements of Franklin’s and the bands strengths, these tracks. The inventive language, diminished G flat to A major, the unexpected ballad neighboring a block of hooky reels, they are here in spades, clubs, diamonds and, ahem, hearts. What a wonderful treat to be listening to new songs by one of my favorite songwriters as he and I make fun of one another via VHS cassette swaps in the mail (SLP mode kills me with all the sexy extra panty lines it piles on me).
There are physical reissues due from the Bruno/Shrimper vault, possibly before the new year. Whet your whistle now, but be cautious of not over doing it. Dry whistles in NM+ shape go for big bucks on the Oculus imaginary aquarium feeding sites. Virtue reality, I enjoy being back with your honest John kind.