The end of last week was… eventful. Fateful, even. On consecutive nights, I got to see Father John Misty at the National and Fiona Apple and Blake Mills’ “Anything We Want” tour at the Lincoln Theater on U St. in Washington, D.C. Both shows were incredible, and I’m still trying to sort through all the ways in which the two experiences were related. I’m not going to dive in right now, since I’d like to write something longer when I have a better map of those relationships (and when I manage to put a leash on my impulse to use superlative language like “best concert I’ve ever seen” and “so beautiful I was moved to tears”), but I did want to take a quick moment and share a song Blake Mills performed on Friday night in D.C.
It’s called “It’ll All Work Out,” it can be found on Mills’ 2010 solo album Break Mirrors, and it’s a great example of how certain songs manage to blast through the wall of total unfamiliarity (I didn’t do much research about Mills before the show, so all his songs were brand new to me) and connect on the very first try. There’s so much to love about the song’s lyrics, with dashes of humor, painful honesty, resignation, and fantastic figurative language — “tighter than a duck’s ass goin’ down a water slide” — all of which came through loud and clear on Friday. I also love the song’s tone, which is light in certain ways (see: “duck’s ass”), but dark in others. Or dark-ish, I suppose. We’ll go with “twilight.” It dips in and out of sounding hopeful, with frank, sometimes bleak verses and then choruses that feature reassuring lyrics and chords.
And then there’s Mills’ guitar work. Without veering off into obnoxious hyperbole, I’ll say that Mills is a very good guitar player and leave it at that. For now. Check out “It’ll All Work Out” below and click here to buy Break Mirrors.