For the last few years, UK-based blog/label Song, By Toad has put out a series of 12″ splits recorded by SBT owner Matthew Young. Last year, Young moved to Red Hook, Brooklyn for a few months and had access to the studio at the National Opera Center because his brother works as a sound engineer. He decided to record another split, this time featuring bands from this side of the pond, and he teamed up with fellow UK-based blog/label GoldFlakePaint to help release the project and pick out the artists that would be included. Eskimeaux, Small Wonder, Beach Moon/Peach Moon, and Furnsss were selected, and they all recorded a few tracks in the studio for the split.
Today, we’re premiering a song from The Epoch-affiliated Small Wonder, the project of Henry Crawford, who also plays in Bellows. He’s released two full-lengths so far — 2011’s Every Whichways Is Upwards and 2014’s marvelous Wendy — and is currently working on a third, and for the split he decided to perform an unreleased track called “I Dream Of Springsteen.”
“I wrote the song about 7 years ago when I was 18 or 19 when i started having these recurring dreams where I was crucifying and disemboweling Bruce Springsteen before setting him on fire, which is the centerpiece of the song,” Crawford explains. “In the dream, Bruce was just smiling down on me as I brutalized him. Very unsettling stuff! Other than that, it’s just a sort of scattershot musing on the nature of aging, and anxieties about the inevitability of irrelevance.”
The version of the song that lives on the split is a sparse piano ballad, and Crawford’s voice feels warm in contrast to the darkly humorous lyrics: “Well, I dream of Springsteen/ All done up in gasoline/ I dream of Springsteen/ Swallowed by flame/ I dream of Springsteen on that funeral pyre/ Going “ohh, I’m on fire,'” a punchline that’s deeply funny but also deeply disturbing. Listen to it below.
01 Beach Moon/Peach Moon – “Firefly Stars”
02 Furnsss – “Surmjoolk”
03 Eskimeaux – “What The Fuck?”
04 Small Wonder – “Lost At Highway”
05 Eskimeaux – “Sparrow”
06 Small Wonder – “I Dream Of Springsteen”
07 Eskimeaux – “That’s Okay”
08 Beach Moon/Peach Moon – “Party In The Back Seat”
09 Furnsss – “Cogitation On American Spring 1975, Or What Am I Going To Be When I Grow Up?”
10 Small Wonder – “Only Sixteen” (Sam Cooke Cover)
Split 12″ Vol.5 is out 11/14. Pre-order it here.