Golem by Reverieme

Track: Golem
Album: Straw Woman
Artist: Reverieme
Genre: indie, pop
Music Rating: 9/10
Lyrics Rating: 10/10
Overall: 
9/10
Sounds Like: Ingrid Michaelson, Kate Nash, Regina Spektor
Interesting Fact: Louise (Reverieme) has the best sense of humor! She is unbelievably hilarious. For someone who writes music and lyrics with such powerful depths, she can be quite wonderfully silly. 😆
Best thing About this Track: I cannot begin to convey to you the layered genius of the lyrics.
One thing I wish was different: The musical interlude/bridge thing feels a little long for me, but only because I miss the powerful lyrics and angelic vocals. I love me some guitar, but that is not the strength of this piece imho.
Website: Reverieme

If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody around to hear it, can the cat be dead AND alive? We’re talking about perception vs. reality here and the perception of reality. Does perception dictate reality? Is reality dependent upon perception?

This song is the most beautiful take I have ever encountered on the macroscopic effect of Copenhagen’s quantum mechanics on humanity and the philosophical implication that bleeds out into quantum entanglement. Now, I am no scientist by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I a particularly well-educated human in philosophy. But, as a musician, I’ve obviously taken a keen fascination to wave theory, and art is philosophical by nature.

I find it difficult to know where to begin talking about this song, because my brain is firing in so many directions, gathering reference from Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, Berkeley, etc. I think what I love most about this song is its unperturbedness. To accept the concept of macroscopic quantum superposition at face value and say nothing is a bold statement indeed! While the greatest minds have exhaustively discoursed and debated the logic, philosophics, and mathematics of an unobserved reality, Reverieme seems ironically unaffected by the notion.

Accepting for a moment (regardless of your thoughts or beliefs on the matter) a world in which macrocosmic reality is wholly dependent upon perception — something that seems to fly in the face of logical reason — does that really change anything? The fact that human relativity defines our existence is inexplicably uncomfortable to us, but does it really make a difference? It is a certifiable truth, that humans are made possible from human relations. I can be defined best — scientifically — by external perceptions of me. Now that carries obvious impact into emotional and sociological views of humanity, but the literality of it is for some reason shocking and viscerally reprehensible to the majority. Why so?

As an extremely introverted and reasonably independent person, I have to ask: does my own human consciousness count as an observer? To which the obvious answer is: duh! Self-awareness affects and shapes reality more powerfully than almost anything else. (Vague, obligatory joke about robots becoming self-aware, taking over the world and enslaving humanity.) If my being is then dependent upon consciousness, humanity takes on a much greater and more powerful role.

The point that this song makes (at least to me) is that regardless of the “what-if’s” surrounding the situation, separating the impossibility of proof or disproof, the verity of experimental physics is immaterial. Regardless of theoretical mathematics, the human experience is such that perception alters reality and human existence is predicated upon relative humanity. This song boldly declares the reality of the futility of independence and then says: So what? The fact that without you I am not, does not make me less.

Now, we’ve barely scratched the surface conceptually, and still we’ve yet to say anything of the more microcosmic technicality of the lyrics, not to mention musicality. Actually, the reason I mentioned Berkeley (although he is a philosopher rather than a scientist) is for the specific acoustical properties attributed to his most famously posited example of the qualifications of reality. Music is merely a disturbance of the air until its perception through your ears transmutes the waves to neural stimuli en route to your brain. So, by nature of merely listening, you are actually creating the music. It’s all in your head.

While beauty is in the ear of the beholder, I must side with Einstein here that there is a certain level of objective reality when it comes to concrete analysis which can be applied. Coming from the western conception of mathematical musical structure, I owe much of my understanding to Pythagoras. As such, it’s hard not to let my mind wander to the Harmony of the Spheres. While the progression of the verses is formed from a modified stair step, building a familiar (but not overutilized) trajectory, the chorus makes pointed use of consistency in a steadfast leapfrog of intervals. Rather than playing with the varying relationships of relative tones, the chorus celebrates a solitary interval with mathematical translation to glorious effect. As a guitarist, I must say that the circle of fifths and its revertive circle of fourths delight me to no end. Here, however, we are taking it one step farther and dealing primarily with imperfect consonance in the manifestation of the interval of a third, flipping back and forth between a major and minor third. This causes a beautiful bumbling effect as we make our way ’round the circle that is both in harmony with standard aural expectations and slightly out of alignment with what we are used to in traditional song building.

This almost contradictory state of duality is a beautiful underline to the lyrics, calling back reference to superposition and asking the listener to question their perception of harmony and dissonance. Can these relativities be measured by degree, or is there again a duality of that which we consider mutually exclusive? One more time we ask: does it matter? Is an imperfect resolution truly problematic?

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Lyrics:
You turned a coffin into a ship
That sailed through battles fought and lost and children’s lives spent
You said, I’m rowing to freedom but oh god it hurts
I’m surrounded by water but this thirst, this thirst

Hope is an anchor that weighs on your chest
I’m having troubles here with buoyancy and the dreams make it worse
I’m falling deeper and deeper into the sea
But the further I go the more I fall into me

I’m nothing I’m nowhere
I’m photons gliding through the air
Colliding with the gaze of those
Who form and break me, form and break me
The flash of a light and the blink of a life
The flash of a light and the blink of a life

A theory of time travel I believe:
When someone looks at your face and sees all that you are
And all that you have been and all that you could
The infinite paths that are stretching out from you

Like you’re nothing and nowhere
Just photons gliding through the air
Colliding with the gaze of those
Who form and break you, form and break you
The flash of a light and the blink of a life
The flash of a light and the blink of a life

You’re nothing and nowhere
Just photons gliding through the air
Colliding with the gaze of those
Who form and break you, form and break you
Who form and break you, form and break you
The flash of a light and the blink of a life
The flash of a light and the blink of a life

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8 thoughts on “Golem by Reverieme

  • August 18, 2016 at 11:15 am
    Permalink

    Delighted to encounter a critic who totally ‘gets’ Reverieme.

    Reply
    • August 18, 2016 at 11:20 am
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      Wow, thanks for the kind words! I don’t know if I fully “get” her, but man does she get me! I was over the moon excited to find Straw Woman! I feel like it is pure genius wrapped in beautiful music. Instant favorite for sure!

      Reply
  • August 30, 2016 at 11:41 am
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    I really love this review. One could live through a whole career and never garner such a succinct observation. Excellent writing, and even greater insight. A beautiful symbiosis of art and critique.

    Reply
    • August 30, 2016 at 3:01 pm
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      Thank you so much. I’m so glad you liked it! Any praise, I must pass on to Reverieme and her brilliant, inspiring art.

      Reply
  • January 31, 2017 at 6:01 pm
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    Thanks a lot! Great album!! I ordered the signed LP off pledgemusic.com.

    Reply
    • January 31, 2017 at 6:03 pm
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      You make excellent life decisions. (For real though; it’s such a great album!)

      Reply
      • January 31, 2017 at 7:08 pm
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        Haha! So true!

        I just got into vinyl. I’m still waiting for my turntable to be delivered. Thanks for sharing all kinds of good stuff. Great site.

        Have you ever checked Angus and Julia Stone? It’s one of my favorite bands. Check them out if you haven’t heard them before. A few good songs are For You (Down the Way) and Yellow Brick Road (Down the Way). Julia Stone’s solo album By The Horns is good too.

        Reply
        • February 18, 2017 at 7:43 pm
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          Welcome aboard the vinyl train! (You’ll never look back. I guarantee.)

          Thanks so much for the music recs! Julia Stone sounds SO familiar; I’m sure I’ve heard some of her solo tracks. I just gave “For You” a listen, and I’m totally sold on it. I now have a beautiful backlog to dig into!

          P.S. Apologies for the delay in response. For some reason, this comment slipped through the cracks and I never saw it. You’re awesome. Appreciate your lovely comments.

          Reply

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