One Track Mind: Tweedy, “Diamond Light Parts I and II” (2014)

Now available on limited-edition, locked-groove 10-inch vinyl, Wilco vet Jeff Tweedy’s new track “Diamond Light Part I” has been paired with “Diamond Light Part II” — a song only available on this particular release.

“Part I,” which will be part of the upcoming solo album Sukierae featuring son Spencer Tweedy on drums, is perfectly suited to the smoky fractal design of this single. It begins with a percolating and bubbling percussive drone on which Tweedy sings an Indian-tinged duet with swelled guitar melodies that reflect his voice perfectly. Reminiscent of Tweedy’s best work with Wilco-offshoot band Loose Fur, the kinetic arrangement bounds between swirling claustrophobic verses and more straight forward rhythms that are still deranged by submerged silvery drones.

Tweedy, who will release Sukierae in September via Wilco’s dBpm Records, sings the developed descending melody over constantly shifting cut angles of sound, gradually increasing the tension between voice and rhythm. The verse melody reappears throughout the song, transposed against different sound concepts. “Different Light Part I” slows and then brightens, with light escaping from the weighty atmosphere in warm speckled spots even as the rhythm stiffens. Rotating slowly, warning blasts of white organ and guitar sound out jaggedly and unexpectedly, before falling silently into a foggy spotlight of perfectly still air.

Tweedy’s distant-mountain-ledge voice emerges from the obscured area once again, encouraging the drums to boil before they too disappear into found sound, like taillights travelling up and away into a darkened mountain highway. As “Part I” concludes, the music’s cold metallic sheen sits captured in the groove of the record — replaying the hallucination, like large hidden icebergs grinding their hulls submerged in water.

Flipping the record over, “Diamond Light Part II” continues the track where the first side left off, using the rhythm created in the grooves of the vinyl to expand on the drifting concluding sounds left to fade before. The sonics used are created of distant ghost beacons and sparkling evening silhouettes, bringing to mind similar Tweedy musical escapades found on Wilco tracks such as “Less Than You Think” and in the sparse conclusion of “Reservations.”

Tweedy has found a new and exciting outlet for his fertile songwriting mind, and who better to share it with but his son and a few musical friends” The song “Diamond Light” is an exciting and anticipatory view of the songs and sounds still to come from this family’s special musical union.

Stephen Lewis

A creative writing major at SUNY Brockport and freelance writer from Upstate New York, Stephen Lewis maintains a music-focused site called Talk From the Rock Room: thefrodisroomrockblog.blogspot.com. He has also written for UpstateLive Music Guide and Ultimate Classic Rock. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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