Trust me # 48
American Trilogy by The Delgados
Lifted from The Delgados outstanding The Great Eastern album in 2000, American Trilogy reached number 61 on the UK singles chart (11 in the indie charts). The Great Eastern only reached 72 in the album charts (12 in the indie). Evidence that chart positions don't matter when it comes to art.
The Delgados developed their own art form rather beautifully over the years. Improving as songwriters and musicians, working in different producers and bringing in extra musicians. In addition to the band, Alun Woodward, Emma Pollock, Stewart Henderson and Paul Savage starting their own label Chemikal Underground and opening their own studio CHEM19 allowed them to be fiercely independent and also release records by the likes of Mogwai, Arab Strap, De Rosa and BiS!
I've enjoyed revisiting The Delgados back catalogue in advance of their Barrowland show on 25th January. The four friends were clearly burning bright with creative energy. 5 albums in just 8-years (1996-2004) is pretty prolific. There is great beauty and depth across this body of work and, for me, one of the real standouts is American Trilogy.
The lyrics, delivered in a gorgeous tumbling melody, to the first couple of verses are confessional, therapy, a call for help and then the chorus explodes gloriously with a realisation.
It's the simple things that crush
And I'm crying far too much
So much that I'm thinking
My control on life is shrinking
There's a light on my head and I'm thinking what I said
All the freedom in my brain
I'm alright now
I'm just thinking, what to say
The third verse is darker, yet with Pollock gently singing under Woodward the beauty remains. Suicidal thoughts are there, then the chorus kicks back in, the uplifting melody with soaring strings makes you think - yeah he's gonna be OK. We're gonna be OK. We can live with it. We can get through it.
But lately I've been feeling that I'm gonna give up breathing
There's a light on in my head and I'm thinking what I said
All the fever in my brain
It's alright now, I can even take the pain
The Great Eastern (2000) was produced by Dave Fridmann. In the previous years he produced Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips (1999) and Deserters Songs by Mercury Rev (1998). It's an astonishing trilogy of albums - no pun intended! Fridmann also produced Mogwai's Come On Die Young in 2000.
Check the official video for the edited single, full length album version and a brilliant live performance for the BBC below.
I've also collated them all into a playlist on Spotify that you can find by searching for Everything Flows - Trust Me , or you can CLICK HERE