This could almost be a concept album. It covers almost every aspect of a relationship, from initial courtship to the breakup and beyond.
Spring Breakup is made up of Kim Barlow, a Yukon singer-songwriter and Mathias Kom, whose voice you may recognize from The Burning Hell. Apart, these two are already brilliant in their own right. Together, these two have put together something incredible.
Many folk artists make their music different by the use of witty lyrics, such as Dan Mangan does. Usually a review of a folk artist will bring up some memorable lyrics. For this album, almost every song should be quoted verbatim. The songwriting is absolutely stellar, here are a few gems:
“Call me morbid but my sense of regret is as cliched and permanent as a barbed-wire armband tattoo.” (from “I Never”)
“Go ahead, write the bad poetry, but don’t hit send.” (from “You Don’t Need a Heart”)
“But my heart’s cracked open and I’m bleeding all night.” (from “Never Eat Alone”)
Much of this album is very tongue-and-cheek and satirical. An example is the song “It’s Not Me, It’s You” in which the people in the song who break up realize that it’s not because of them, but because of their partner. One song is called “I’m Sorry That I Tried to Punch You in the Face” and that title should speak for itself.
Other songs include the conundrum of who to save, your mother or wife, if both were drowning (“Mother & Wife”); a song about moving out of a lover’s house after a split (“Chesterfield”); as well as a song about what love isn’t (“Puppy Dogs and Rainbows.”)
Not all of this album is humourous, though. The song “Dog in Berlin” is legitimately depressing and “Never Eat Alone” is so heartbreaking that one may actually cry.
On the musical side of things, Barlow and Kom take a minimalist folk approach. This may put off some listeners but for me it just added to the experience. Not a note is wasted at all. In fact, in “You Don’t Need a Heart” guest musician Andrew Magoffin performs an epic guitar solo (and those exact words are in his credit on the album’s liner notes).
This may be one of the most accurate albums about love ever made at any point in history. I cannot recommend it any more.
Top Tracks: Each and every track.
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) +*swoop*