Recommendation XXII: Gillian Welch

Hey.  Long time no see.  I am back again with a new post!  Right now, I’m on my summer break at home and it’s going really well.  I’m already working and just trying to save money (and get a new iPod!).  It has been a while since the last time, but I had to deal with finals and projects and everything, so it has been busy busy busy for me.  I had some time now to do a new post so here it is.

My twenty-second recommendation is: Gillian Welch’s “My First Lover” from her 2001 Time – The Revelator album.  You may or may not recognize her name, but Gillian Welch is big in the folk/americana format, and she had a duet with Alison Krauss on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack back in 2000 with the traditional, “I’ll Fly Away” (which is excellent), and that song is what introduced me to her.  Since then, I’ve been interested in her and her music, but still didn’t really check it out.  Sometimes I tend to do that for some reason with different artists, and I later find that I really like their music.  I really like her folk style and the simplicity that comes with it and the stories she tells.

I originally heard “My First Lover” through a snippit played on the theatrical trailer for the new creepy horror movie, called “The Strangers” (it’s in movie theatres now since Friday).  During the trailer, a record player in the movie skips causing it to repeat two words in the song: “Quicksilver girl… ” to add to great dramatic affect to the gripping scenes leaving the audience creeped out and excited.  I thought the movie was really good and pretty scary (it’s a story that was “inspired by real events” about a couple who goes out to the woods and the three masked invaders who terrorize them at their isolated house) and the music in it, like Gillian’s, adds a lot to the feel and mood of the movie.  The film even makes Merle Haggard‘s “Mama Tried” into a spooky song because of the scene it is used in lol – you’ll have to see it to know what I’m talking about!  Since I’m not writing a movie review, I’ll move on, but if you like those kind of movies, you should definitely go and see it.

I bought the song about a day or so ago after I found out that it was this song in the movie and after I listened to the clip on iTunes.  I didn’t know Gillian sang it, so that was thrilling.  I really liked the way it sounded: it’s actually really catchy to the ear with that banjo and dobro in the background and Gillian’s strong vocals.  The song is about her first lover and how he made her feel during the relationship.  The lyrics are really simple just like the acoustic instrumentation and the song as a whole, sounds very mysterious and has a big mountain sound to it.  The “quicksilver girl” line is a reference to the Steve Miller Band song of the same name – now whenever I hear those words sung by Gillian, it’s eerie lol.

I’m really glad that I was re-introduced to Gillian’s music again because I’ve listened to clips of her other songs and they sound really good and I’ll for sure buy some more stuff.  I think you’ll enjoy it as well.

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the full lyrics to “My First Lover”, written by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings:

My first lover
My first lover

He was tall and breezy with his long hair down
But he gets a little hazy when I think of him now

My first lover
My first lover

He was always talking, trying to bring me down
But I was not waiting for a white wedding gown
From my first lover

I do not remember any going wrong
Just a record playing that old Steve Miller song

Quicksilver girl
Quicksilver girl

At a surfer party with the whiskey pouring
And the bottle rolling, I was on the floor
With my first lover
My first lover

I do not remember any fights or fits
Just shakey morning, after calling it quits
With my first lover

Quicksilver girl
Quicksilver girl
Quicksilver girl … and she’s free



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