Review Summary: Oh no, daylight
I am having difficulty coming to terms with my experience listening to Tell Me About the Long Dark Path Home
. Having heard of The Newfound Interest in Connecticut through a friend, I approached the album expecting something emotional and treacherous, yet enlightening... as though the album was to serve as an audial equivalent to Life of Pi or something. I was wrong.
Suffice to say, the album left me feeling stranded, amidst the barren landscape the song titles describe too accurately. A crucial factor with this album is the level of restraint TNIIC uses, complemented by moments of unhindered catharsis. Amidst everything, the vocalist remains calm, though never quite soothing. No, TNIIC does very little to comfort you during your journey. Matt King serves as your Charon-of-the-arctic, offering little more than pity and mutual despair.
While TMATLDPH excels at gradual, dreary post-rock ambience, there are moments that break through the calmness and make the album as dynamic as possible without compromising the overall effect as intended. "Okay, You Can Be Tigers But No Crashing" is a standout track, as it builds up a stunning climax mid-song, only to be pulled into a false sense of security before delivering another barrage which is summarized perfectly by the vocalist's panting at the end. I am applying the term 'standout track' quite liberally here, as it would be blasphemy to enjoy the album in any way other than a complete experience, start-to-finish. The aforementioned despair becomes apparent during the closing track "The Arctic Circle":
Running. As fast as I can
Straight-line to a point on the horizon
Tried to simplify a complicated thing
Instead we end with pieces to walls that never meet
If I were to compare my experience listening to this final track to a movie ending, Requiem For a Dream comes readily to mind. When Harry Goldfarb was left hopelessly alone in a hospital bed with an amputated arm, I felt as though I had been cheated out of a positive experience, as I was left with nothing but bleak resentment. It was only after weeks of afterthought that I began to appreciate the fact the movie had actually made me feel
something. This album also made me feel something, and I definitely appreciate that.
The Newfound Interest in Connecticut were a post-rock/emo act that most likely went under your radar. The Toronto band only has one full-length album to their name, and have since dived into the pits of obscurity. What they have left behind is an album that deserves recognition as a truly splendid emo album that utilizes post-rock elements in a sorrowful fashion, leaving the listener feeling desolate.