Mystic conjurers Godspeed You! Black Emperor have never operated as a conventional band, which means they don’t have a conventional leader. But the most visible member of this reliably invisible group is Efrim Manuel Menuck, the musician who has also made records on his own and with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. Menuck made a pretty great solo album called Pissing Stars a couple of years ago, and now he’s just dropped a vast and powerful new 16-minute solo single called “Baby It Has To Fall.”
“Baby It Has To Fall” is long like a Godspeed piece, but it doesn’t sound like Godspeed. Instead, it sounds like what might’ve happened if Bruce Springsteen had gotten even more into Suicide, and if that influence had led Springsteen to make apocalyptic anti-capitalist drone-punk meditations. The song’s Bandcamp page claims that Menuck recorded the song in August with three oscillators and a “broken parlor organ.”
Over tidal waves of beautifully arranged sound, Menuck sings in a hiccuping echo, declaiming the state of a broken world: “What value is a state like this?/ With a fool’s weight pressed upon our necks/ What value is a state like this?/ That watches us die and does not assist/ That banks on our deaths no matter the price/ Just to delay their own slow demise.” I’m telling you: This is goosebump-inducing shit.
Right now, “Baby It Has To Fall” is exclusive to Bandcamp, and it’s up for pay-what-you-want purchase for its first week. Menuck and Michele Fiedler Fuentes also made an experimental short film to accompany the music. Check it out below.
You can get “Baby It Has To Fall” at Bandcamp.