PREMIERE: Cory Hanson’s “Garden of Delight” Ain’t So Pretty After All

The cut from the Wand frontman's solo record gets its own video.

We hear you about the Old Weird America. But it’s 2017 now, and we don’t need to look back to find a surrealistic version of our country. If anything, fetishizing the sounds of folk’s heyday and rock’s infancy feels like a fool’s errand these days, a variation on #MAGA with marginally better headwear.

If Cory Hanson’s album The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo is any indication, it’s something he knows all too well. While significantly—significantly—quieter and more composed than the work Hanson does with Wand, Unborn Capitalist’s heady arrangements and needlepoint vocal melodies mask a kind of woundedness. You can hear it in the album’s “Garden of Delight,” whose video we’re premiering this morning.

While the song starts with a hopeful shake of percussion, Hanson draws his voice like a sigh over a morose string arrangement. Though pretty, it’s not bliss music, and while it’s clearly nostalgic—for Lee Hazlewood in his Swedish years, for Tyrannosaurus Rex–era Marc Bolan, for some other unnamed something—it’s not an attempt to get lost in the false past of genre conventions. “The numbers written on the sail,” Hanson sings of a group of privateers, “Keep track of the waves that they think they saw.” Maybe we’ve never understood the past.

Give “Garden of Delight”’s video a peek below.


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