The Body Burned Away
I've had insomnia for most of my life, and have sought out a number of cures. Songs: Ohia's "Ghost Tropic" was a good one, and it worked its magic on me almost every night for the better part of three years. Many of Jason Molina's records, beautiful as they were, got me a little too in touch with my own fears and sadnesses, but "Ghost Tropic" was something else entirely. It took me out of my own head and into its own magical world, somewhere in between the dark ambient of Brian Eno's "On Land" and the wistful exotica of Martin Denny's "Forbidden Island." The lyrics are a little stranger than Molina typically got, full of dream logic and almost Biblical, something like Lorca or Rimbaud. Listening now, the whole record almost feels like that one moment in "100 Years of Solitude" when Remedios the Beauty floats up to heaven in the middle of folding laundry because she is just too beautiful to exist. A very special masterpiece from a man who seemed to make nothing but masterpieces, made all the more significant to me by the fact that I've never made it all the way to the end without falling asleep.
The Body Burned Away from Ghost Tropic
Performed and recorded by Jesse Rifkin
Jesse Rifkin has released two albums of experimental folk music as The Wailing Wall, followed by one album of glammed-up prog rock with his band Jane Eyre. He is currently at work on a fourth album, the first under his own name.