Sir makes music that is something beyond naked; it's utterly bone-chilling. Picture a divorced couple from Melbourne wearing only an organ and a guitar as fig leaves, standing in whatever today's anti-Eden might be (OK, so maybe that's the entire modern world). Sir droopingly sings about love with a breathy otherworldliness that exposes this enigma for the lucid nightmare that it often is. Tainted love? That's for sure, but more accurately, Sir is a manifestation of the subconscious abyss that lurks beneath the happy-go-lucky tip of the chilly and unstable iceberg of personal connection. In doing so, Sir's music amplifies love's hazy, neurotic core with all of its failure, heartfelt honesty, regret and slippery longing.
But it's Sir's approach to creating this mood that is most unusual. Dreamy, fond remembrances of loved one's mannerisms and looks exchanged juxtaposed with distant organ melodies that would likely suit David Lynch ("Too Good," "Drunk on Love"). There is something oddly cinematic about Sir's opaque moodiness. "The Night I Met My Second Wife" puts the bizarro circus music of Fellini in the context of "Blue Velvet"'s lounge scenes. Unfortunately, this theme often goes too far and molds into blue Velveeta cheesiness that, if taken seriously, is either laughable or very dangerous (stay away from pills and sharp objects).
But just as you've pressed the hara-kiri knife to your stomach, "Release the Herd" eases the tension created by some awkward earlier moments with inspired, tear-jerking lyrics that evoke Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval singing an early '70s Leonard Cohen love song. This is truly an amazing thing, but only if swallowed in small doses and chased with something just moderately soul-shattering.