Oak Recommends: “Pale Rider” by Field Report

Photo by Mohamed Haddi

My friend, let me first confess to you this; even as a writer, I have very little time to read.

Reading is an activity which I am constantly waging a battle against time for. Between the daylight demands of a nine-to-five and my own relentless drive for process and greater output, I find it increasingly difficult to devote time enough to the vast quantity of literary content in my personal library. Please don’t judge me for this. I am attempting to re-balance my life, but at this present time, the majority of the reading that I commit to feels like a luxury.

I once wrote in response to a tweet which questioned whether one could term music as a form of literature, “Music is probably the most consumed, least appreciated, form of lit there is!”

In a world where I cannot devote time to reading, it is an overwhelming relief to have musicians in my life who are compelled to create and share songs which border on some of the greatest poetry I have ever experienced. In listening to a three to five minute song, I can be nourished in the same way as reading whole passages from my favourite authors. Music for me is the vitamin supplement of literature! It is accessible, it is direct and it is pure.

So it is from this stand point I would like to highlight the example of a band from Milwaukee named Field Report. Lead singer Chris Porterfield is without question one of my all-time favourite poets! His lyrics are incomparable; I have never yet heard music whose phrasing matches the level of poignancy and poetry which emanates from the fabric of these songs, album after album.

May I recommend that today, you give yourself a moment to listen to Pale Rider from their 2014 album Marigolden. This delicately crafted song takes a brave and tender look at what it means for a person to lose a child, about the wreckage and the wake of such an insurmountable loss. It wraps it’s arms around one of the worst experiences a person can live through and consoles the indescribable with an almost ethereal love and respect.

(Song recommendation by Oak Ayling)

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