Song of the Week – Time Square, Destroyer


Canadian Dan Bejar exercises his craft through two bands, The New Pornographers and Destroyer. I’ve long been a fan of The New Pornographers – their “Myriad Harbor” was the SotW on March 1, 2008 – but I’ve have had very little exposure to Destroyer’s 10 albums. So when their latest record, Poison Season, was released last September I decided to give it a thorough test drive. I’ve been on the road with it ever since.

The album has the same type of cinematic quality as Springsteen’s Born to Run album. (I’m thinking of songs like “Meeting Across the River” and “Jungleland.”) A fine example is “Time Square” in the first and last of the three versions of on the disc. But today’s SotW is the middle, more pop version of the song.

The lyrics merge biblical references with modern day New York City references to create some interesting and thought provoking imagery.

Jesus is beside himself
Jacob’s in a state of decimation
The writing on the wall wasn’t writing at all
Just forces of nature in love with a weather station

Artists and repertoire
Hand in hand through the grey doorway at dawn
The writing on the wall said, “Jesus saves”
The writing on the wall mentions Honey playing a game with the waves

You can follow a rose wherever it grows
Yeah, you can fall in love with Times Square
Times Square

The words capture something intrinsic to NYC in much the same way as many of Lou Reed’s lyrics. They’re vague enough to avoid any obvious interpretation, yet strikingly beautiful nonetheless.

This is all sung in Bejar’s fragile voice to a romping groove of acoustic guitars, piano, drums, congas and horns. The instrumental break after the first chorus is simply joyous.

Now I’ve got some work to do digging into Destroyer’s back catalog of those other 10 albums.

Enjoy… until next week.

BTW – Today is Record Store Day. Drop the digitized music for a couple of hours and go put your hands on some physical product today. It’s good for the soul.

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