Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dead Can Dance: The Carnival Is Over

Australian-English act Dead Can Dance is one of those alternative acts that never quite broke through to the mainstream. Still, they expertly crafted and composed compositions and musical soundscapes steeped in world music that appealed to the more thoughtful listener. And Dead Can Dance certainly has a following.

Vocalists Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard did have their fair share of success on alternative radio particularly with the positively fantastic The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove and later the inspired American Dreaming (from Toward The Within).

One selection by the group that always moved me was The Carnival Is Over from the near perfect Into The Labyrinth (1993) collection (I wanted to call this post The (Robot) Carnival Is Over - see last post here). Perry offered unforgettable vocals for both this track and The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove.

I always thought their was such a beautifully captured sadness to The Carnival Is Over and Perry and Gerrard convey the haunting emotion affectingly and effectively. It emotionally channels a tribute to the carnival and a window into a kind of secret world through the eyes of an outsider. It's a gem as are the aforementioned selections. I'm very much a casual fan of the group, but Into The Labyrinth and Toward The Within (1994) are exquisitely crafted productions, the latter a beautifully recorded live effort.

The song would have worked well with HBO's Carnivale (2003-2005) and it would have worked well for the closing credits of Robot Carnival. At least I'd like to think so. Though it really would have been more fitting on HBO's Carnivale. Here are those moving, lyrics from one of the finest songs of the 1990s.

The Carnival Is Over

Outside, the storm clouds gathering
Moved silently along the dusty boulevard
Where flowers turning crane their fragile necks
So they can in turn, reach up and kiss the sky

They are driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone is calling

I remember when you held my hand
In the park we would play
When the circus came to town

Over here

Outside, the circus gathering
Moved silently along the rain swept boulevard
The procession moves on the shouting is over
The fabulous freaks are leaving town

They are driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone is calling

The carnival is over

We sat and watched

As the moon rose
For the very first time


le0pard13 said...

Must catch up to this, G. Thanks for the heads up, my friend.

SFF said...

I know how much you enjoy a good song and a nice melody. Well, these tracks are popping in atmosphere. I think you would enjoy them.

El Vox said...

Not familiar with DCD, but listening to them on YT they sound fine. The male vocalist is reminiscent a bit of Jim Morrison to me. They also have a multi-layered sound that's nice.

SFF said...

I like Perry's voice. I always like those deep voices. Lot of feeling in it even if he wasn't considered the best vocalist in the world. My kind of singer.

Roman J. Martel said...

I have a couple albums featuring DCD. Really enjoy their stuff. I was introduced to them based on Gerrards work on "The Insider". That soundtrack really made an impression on me. Headed over to Borders (back when they had a huge CD section) because the employees there knew their stuff. I was pointed toward DCD and that was that. I haven't heard this song, but I will remedy that.

SFF said...

Oh wow. If you haven't heard Into The Labyrinth and you enjoy DCD you are missing out.

Also, I actually listened to one of their new songs today called Amnesia. It popped on in the car from the blue tooth. Great track!