“Into Pieces of Wood” by Chimes & Bells

This week on Songs to Die By:


(Shot of Bruce Willis* jumping at just the right time to avoid that explosion)


(Britney Spears and Lady Gaga are hiding, malnourished and dirty….wait a tic….)


(Cue the droning guitars of this week’s featured song)

The amazing Chimes & Bells is a Danish quartet with a lovely lady singer who has a hypnotic, mezmerizingly deep voice who also happens to play maybe the best instrument on the planet after the bassoon: the cello. (Yeah, I played the bassoon throughout high school and Korovyov, my favorite character in The Master and Margarita has another name that’s the Russian word for bassoon, so it’s like double-love. Like, if Konstantin Khabensky and Kate Beckinsale had a kid who was a half-vampire, half-Hellboy hybrid, aka THE ABOMINATION of Melissa’s Resistance to Love. *crickets* Uh, let’s ignore that little outburst, shall we?)

This song is off of their EP of the same name, and lemme tell you, all four songs are fantastic. Like, you need to buy this EP right now and then tell all of your friends. Like, now. Now. Seriously. Now. I just learned today that that’s called an “embedded command.” It’s where, in advertising, an imperative — like Do! Read! Write! — is used in a friendly manner in order to suggest something to the consumer. Well, technically mine’s not really embedded, because if you don’t do it I’m going to tell mom, you god-damn, shit-sucking vampire.

Now, I can’t find lyrics and I’m horrible at hearing things (unless it’s the fifteen-minute long coffee order of a snobby coffee connoisseur whilst blenders are blending and espresso is grinding, and then I can hear perfectly), so here’s my guess:

I’m gonna go on in these shivering bones
I’m gonna go on in these precious stones
I’m gonna hold on tight while you are gone
I’m gonna shoot them down, these aching bones
And the sound is all we knew
And we try, fall, fall, fall into pieces of wood

There’s the images of bones, which suggests the inner core, the SKELETON if you will. (I like skeletons and use them as symbols a lot in my novel. Skeletons and frogs. And, you know, some coconut crabs, which have become the major contenders for creepiest things ever and rate at least a 6.7 on the wiggins scale.) That and the primordial-ness coming from turning into wood speak to the eternity of things, but of things that can never stay the same. People decay and all that’s left are bones. Trees can die, burn down, but I get a sense of petrification.

The overall feel is one of perseverance through the impossible, wearily dragging along burdens — “precious stones” — like Atlases carrying the world. Bones will ache, but eventually whatever love exists will fall and become something unrecognizable from its true form. This is echoed in the droning, repetitive guitars that sound like a death knoll, a bell tolling for someone or something that may never hear.

The only reference to any pronoun — except I — comes in the ‘chorus’ of “the sound is all we knew” and “we try.” This is a failed love (not unlike last week’s beauty), that was once so overwhelming, so intoxicating in the past, but in the present, because of broken trust (“you better be faithful”), it has turned into a bastardized, corrupt image of what it was. Like wood, it can be carved into many things, but can also be warped — like sound over long distances. Or between snickering, gossiping 12-year-old-girls at a slumber party.

Maybe next week I’ll try something a little more up-beat, eh?

Wheel of Empanada, turn, turn, turn,
Show us a song that may raise concern:
Strangelove” by Depeche Mode. Yeppers. I love me some 80s rock with druggie frontmen. Actually, Depeche Mode is the inspiration for many a band I love and I think my sister let me burn this CD.

*It exists, but I can’t find a picture of a panel from the manga Hellsing, in which Alucard has a dream sequence starring Bruce Willis. It’s hilarious, so I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.