Song of the Week – February, Complete Mountain Almanac

Ignored             Obscured              Restored

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  To honor that, today’s SotW is “February” by Complete Mountain Almanac.

Complete Mountain Almanac is the work of Norwegian singer/composer Rebekka Karijord and lyricist Jessica Dessner.  The two met way back in 2006 but it took 10 years for them to reconnect to consider working together.  But the project was sidetracked when, in 2018, Dessner underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.  However, they agreed that dealing with Dessner’s condition head on might be therapeutic and stimulate her creativity.

Dessner has said of today’s SotW:

“February is a song that began as a reckoning with the profound physical changes wrought by breast cancer and how they threaten to dismantle every aspect of life, and yet, somehow the spirit rises, remains constant, immutable, a force, like nature.”

Musically, the track displays hints of both classical music and European folk songs.  It has an arpeggiated acoustic guitar and a film score-like orchestration played by the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.  The guitars are played by Dessner’s brothers – twins Aaron and Bryce of The National.  The lyrics are treated beautifully by Karijord.

Near the hunter’s forest
Someone will take apart my body
In order to save me

She went to her great love
Without her body intact
Did he take her in his arms
To love all that was left?

What haven’t I done yet?
Well lived in signs of life
Carried away
Now the signs reads:

“Here she lived, here she is, she’s still here”
“Here she lived, here she is, she’s still here”

February is a very brave and poignant song.

Enjoy… until next week.

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