The DJ said the singer, Tiny Ruins, was from New Zealand. The fingerpicking and the hesitant melody reminded me of Nick Drake, only with a girl voice echoing Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell maybe. The lyrics seemed like a little bit of a scold. I could have googled to find out more, but I like only knowing what I know from hearing it on the radio. I thought maybe it was an oblique kiss off to a middle of the road monster like David Brooks or his New Zealand equivalent.
There’s a distant, haunted quality to the song. Usually I can’t handle this kind of ornate beauty, but it’s spiced with just enough bitterness and abstraction sneak into my sweet spot. I would love to see it played over the opening credits of a movie.
The version in the video isn’t the version I heard. She explains that it’s missing instruments that provided it with more stateliness. I like the version in the video because she seems like good people.
UPDATE: I started following Tiny Ruins on Twitter. Evidently her whole album is streaming on the New York Times‘ website. So it’s an interesting coincidence that I invoked Times columnist David Brooks above.