by Walter Price
Of course, the world is full of great songwriters but there are a handful of songcrafters that really know how to tell a story. Songsmiths who can grab and hold your attention as picturesque scenes unfold and linger. Names like Josh Tillman, Zach Condon, Chris Eckman, and Mark Oliver Everett are always at the top of my list of some of the tiptop lyricists who don’t just write songs but create atmospheric scenes to get lost in. One more name must be added to this group, Typhoon’s Kyle Morton.
Morton and his band have been producing some beautifully weighty songs over the past couple of decades, but if you’re not familiar, let me get you acclimated by offering up one of my favorite singles of theirs. From the recently released confessional EP Underground Complex No. 1, “New Wife”.
“New Wife”, while a journey through heartbreaking obsession, which can feel consciously uncomfortable at times, I suppose. But it’s the turn of phrase, symbolism, self-deprecation, and the wavering acceptance of the storyteller’s situation that makes this track so indelible. Like anyone dealing with loss and grappling with moving on, the pain and involuntary humor get intertwined.
Anyway I’ve got a new wife
And she is good to me
Runs her hands through my hair
Makes the coffee in the morning
Yeah I think my new life
Is shaping up for me
There’s only this one thing
Tell me you want me
To die in a farming accident
So you can pretend you don’t care
That’s you all over isn’t it?
Yeah sure I will leave you alone
Just tell me that you never miss this
I hear you’ve got a new friend
Whom I’d like to meet
Do you keep him under your thumb?
Yeah I heard he dresses like me
Oh my god it’s such a long life
Glad I lived to see
How I look to a stranger
Tell me you want me to jump off…
Not to mention that shortly after these lyrics play out, maybe the only use of the word ouroboros in a song, that I can think of, happens. Wordsmithery is an art unto itself.
The not-so-faded memory “New Wife” is a meticulously written song from a brilliant album and if you’re not already a devotee of Typhoon, I hope that this little write-up will entice you to have a listen. And maybe just maybe you’ll add Kyle Morton to your list of go-to songwriters. And you will…
TYPHOON New Wife
Band photo by Jeremy Hernandez // Lyrics via Bandcamp
Written by Kyle Morton
Performed by Typhoon
Kyle Morton – vocals / guitars / keys
Shannon Steele – violin / vocals
Alex Fitch – drums
Toby Tanabe – bass
Dave Hall – guitar
Jordan Vale – trumpet
Eric Stipe – trumpet
I hope you’re happy baby
I’ll never call you again
The ourosbouros made me
It’s always starting where it ends
But if you like this you should see me