One of the highlights of Giant Sand’s 1994 album ‘Glum’ was this powerful, intense song, perfect for retro Friday. ‘Happenstance’ builds beautifully, full of desperate tension and urgency. Huge rhythms, searing guitar, moody bass and that dramatic, almost-spoken, storytelling vocal all add up to a rarely-experienced level of atmospheric song-writing. The words have a swirling rhythm all of their own and add to the devastating emotional intensity of the song: “Here in // The lilt of lip and // Strange Romance // Therein // The lean and tilt // Of your stance // Learning to love // Learning to love // Happenstance.”
In the 1990s, Giant Sand were a tremendous force in alternative rock and country. The Arizona’s group, led by singer-songwriter Howe Gelb, have been through various line-up changes and incarnations over the years and their music has drawn upon a range of influences. What has been consistent is the quality of the songcraft and how relevant the music still feels. Check it out and be absorbed.
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