‘The Bleeding Heart Show’ by The New Pornographers
From the album Twin Cinema (2005)
Part two of this series explores another fantastic Canadian album that turns ten this year (yesterday as a matter of fact), Vancouver stalwarts and sort-of-supergroup The New Pornographers’ brilliant Twin Cinema.
I chose ‘The Bleeding Heart Show’ over other, almost equally worthy, tracks such as ‘The Jessica Numbers’, ‘Three or Four’ and ‘Twin Cinema’ purely because of the song’s power and the layering of the instruments (including vocals). The song rises from a piano-led near-ballad to the crescendo to end all crescendos; the band’s interlaced ‘hey-la’s and Neko Case’s ‘we have arrived too late to play the bleeding heart show’ fire over Kurt Dahle’s superhuman drumming is something I’ve found myself singing along to inappropriately loudly many a time.
The one thing that has always baffled me about Twin Cinema as an album is the track listing. I’m big on order; all of my records, CDs and DVDs are alphabetically ordered (the DVDs are technically ordered by unwatched and watched, alphabetically) and the placement of ‘The Bleeding Heart Show’ at track 4 on the album seems too early. Personally I’d swap it for ‘Three or Four’ and ‘Star Bodies’ (11 and 12), but, then again, would it be appreciated by less people so far into the album? I don’t know.
I don’t really have much more to say about the song, it is such a powerful song that I’d actually prefer (for once) to let it speak for itself instead of me rambling on about meanings that might not be there. One last thing I will say is that it is a real winter song; the best time to listen is when you are walking at night, wrapped up in a coat and scarf watching your breath form in front of you. Crisp.