I could turn these diamonds to dirt
At its best, music conveys the emotional truths that words can only sketch. Description has a tendency to cheapen, slapping coats of dulling paint across cracks and crevices worth exploring. A chord progression, a series of notes, a spot of silence, the force of percussion: These are the elements that pick up where words leave off, evoking the sorts of feelings we can only trace otherwise.
There’s a rare serendipity that occurs when lyrics leave space for the music to do its work, using metaphor and allusion in writing and allowing melody to color in the intangible, pinpointing the feelings you can’t otherwise describe.
And I could dig them out of the earth/And turn all these diamonds to dirt
When I first heard “diamonds & dirt,” the new single from Sydney in Theory‘s upcoming self-titled album, I got completely lost in it. Minimal description here: The music embedded above should speak for itself, gorgeous, soaring, and pained as it is in equal measure.
I know how badly you wanted to grow
Fittingly, as I searched for the proper words to detail the feeling created by my experience with “diamonds & dirt,” I found my own prose–and prose in general–lacking. I turned to Notebook of a Return To the Native Land, a book-length poem by surrealist poet Aimé Césaire. Though Notebook deals in topics far different from “diamonds & dirt,” several of its closing lines perfectly encapsulate the song’s bittersweet meditation on growth:
“bind, bind me, bitter brotherhood
then, strangling me with your lasso of stars
If you haven’t spent time in Sydney in Theory’s world yet, take a bit of time to browse his Tumblr and spend some time with his The Wild EP, an experimental set that dropped late last year. Well worth the journey for the adventurous.