At the beginning of final month, an impressive assortment of popular music entitled Now That’s What I Call Music! The title of Vampires,” with its echoes of Buffy and Bela Lugosi and Twilight,” is definitely a little bit of a feint. Vampires” is a quietly gripping track about mortality. It contrasts easy, unshakable pictures of human need — a hand looking slow in the dead of night,” nails leaving love’s watermark,” the urge to carry on to another — with the immortal undead, who can afford to laugh at those of us whose days are numbered. The scene recollects the stressed spirits in George Saunders’s current Lincoln in the Bardo” (a novel Isbell adores and whose creator he’s now pleasant with), and the idle amaranths of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive” (a film Isbell also admires).
A revolutionary growth of the late modern interval (ca. 1900-60) was atonal music, … Read More