“Homesick” – Gustav & the Seasick Sailors
Gustav & the Seasick Sailors return to Fingertips, after an almost three-year absence, with another piano-based, jazz-tinged composition. The drumming is soft and skittery, the chords open and Bruce Hornsby-esque, the melody brisk and wistful. The point at which this song settled into my psyche is right in the middle, the stretch from 1:20 to 1:28, when the melody picks up velocity and the chords progress with muted beauty, peaking at the lyrics “All the things we were/All the things we’re not.” The understated female harmony vocal here is beautiful, all the more so for sounding so casual and easy to overlook if you’re not paying attention.
“Homesick” is a song from Brilliant Hands, the third Gustav & the Seasick Sailors CD. Lead by Gustav Haggren, a singer/songwriter from Helsingborg, Sweden, the Seasick Sailors are labeled a “collective” by the band’s press material, which accounts for my inability to pinpoint, for instance, how many Seasick Sailors there happen to be. There seem to be five or six at the moment. And I don’t want to dwell on it but it’s interesting to know that Haggren was born without a right hand, and wears a special device that allows him to hold a pick and therefore play guitar.
The song “Nightlife” by GATSS was featured here in November 2005; it was also a #1 song on the Fingertips Top 10, for those keeping score at home.