Rae Spoon: "Bones In a Museum"


By Eric Sams | 1 October 2008

One of the marks of a great musician is an artistic thumbprint large enough to dominate an entire sub-genre of the style of music that you happen to play, such that any subsequent act that comes near it immediately draws a comparison. Neko Case, for example, currently has a monopoly on the “clarion-voiced-spare-rootsy-female-country-folk” market. So, yes, there’s no doubt that “Bones In a Museum” off of Rae Spoon’s fourth solo album superioryouareinferior sounds like it would be perfectly at home nestled into the middle of Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006) but that’s not to say it’s derivative. Plus, I mean, Rae’s a dude.

“Bones” doesn’t make camp in Case-ville so much as wanders absentmindedly through that sonic neighborhood, all loping, muted string plucks and violins humming to themselves and each other. The song is a heady cloud of semi-lucid, vaguely romantic admonitions (“You are a lightning bolt / You are the thunder / You are a whale out of the water”), which means that it also kinda takes lyrical detours next door into Chan Marshall-burgh. All of which is to say that this music is pretty and graceful, hints at substance, and lends a sort of calming tragedy to a rainy Tuesday where otherwise the decision to get out of bed was questionable at best.