I just got a hold of Tim Seely's Funeral Music. And I'm keeping it forever. The first track, "6 Foot Crest," starts with weird sound randomness and the cutest little guitar line, but quickly catches the listener off guard with a movingly beautiful melody complete with overwhelming, tingle-inducing string arrangements. I was nearly in tears! Right then, I knew why Seely called the album Funeral Music even though as beautiful and sentimental as the music is, it's not necessarily sad. It feels hopeful, as if to suggest something better is to come. The second track, "On Film I Play Myself," follows suit, only with more energy. In fact, this record rarely lost its stranglehold on my ears. Throughout the disc, I was reminded of everything from Beck and the Beatles to Gomez and Sigur Ros. I even felt the footprint of classical influences like Mozart and the Schoenberg School of old-timey movie soundtracks. And though most of this album revolves around a similar vibe as found in the first track, Seely knows how to have fun. The title track bounces around with the feel of an old jug band, and Seely sounds like he's having fun as he sings, "It's that look in your eyes / Picturing me dead when I'm sleeping," over a layer of bluegrass-sounding guitar and banjo. Sort of a happily morbid thing going on.
Apparently, this is Seely's first solo record. He was formerly of the Seattle-based Actual Tigers, but I'm glad to see he has moved on to pursue his own vision. And I feel bad for the musicians who lost him. Seely proved he could make a great record on his own.