Sunday, June 1, 2008

Boats: Yacht Dance

XTC: Yacht Dance


Am I to be first again? Then while the rest of the boys scour their collections, let's start this week up with a dance to the king of all leisure craft: the Yacht.

we will dance like tiny boats with cotton sails upon the tops of the seas,
That would pull us down to the depths and crush us flat if given half a chance.

Andy Partridge and co. take an imaginative summery jaunt through the imagery of the dangerously carefree self-in-love-as-boat. The lyrics speak in celebratory tones of the yacht as "real love," and heap scorn upon the ocean of those who never see its light, but it's tempting to dive deeper. Is the undertone of condemnation for those who might embrace such oblivious, disconnected lifestyle really there? Or has the idea of "yacht" only recently picked up the negative connotations of wealth to excess?

Perhaps it is all, or neither; Partridge is unusually oblique here. Regardless: the sound is percussive and crisp, bouncy and sparse, with more than a hint of the hornpipe; light enough on the surface, but the sirens call from the murky harmonies. One of my favorite XTC deep cuts, from the absolutely incredible 1982 doubledisk release English Settlement.


Anonymous said...

XTC are great! What a deep band. From their start as a (dare I say it -POP band!) through their many changes it's all great music and fun to travel through time with Partridge, Moulding and co. My band is greatly influenced by XTC and one day we hope to write one song that is nearly as good.

Rubber Clown Car

bwrice said...

Couldn't agree more -- XTC is just a great band through and through. I'm happy that they have finally been profiled on this blog. Nice choice...