“Slow Passage” – Thomas Charlie Pedersen

Upbeat melancholia

“Slow Passage” – Thomas Charlie Pedersen

Here’s another song that packs a lot of presence into a relatively short package. Like many people alert to life’s bittersweet qualities, I’m partial to minor-key compositions, so I’m on board here from the song’s opening arpeggios; syncopated finger picking adds to the appealing vibe of upbeat melancholia. Thomas Charlie Pedersen’s forthright vocal style recalls something intangible about rock’n’roll records from the late ’60s or early ’70s, and this elusive nostalgia, too, feeds the song’s bittersweet complexion.

The song’s aural impact, in fact, is strong enough to do what many great rock songs do, which is render lyrical specifics unnecessary: the sound of the words is not only enough but in its own way more necessary than intelligible meaning. I’m never sure if this aligns with a musician’s intention or not but I enjoy songs like this in which you can easily enough discern individual words and short phrases but can’t decipher the bigger picture lyrically speaking. This forces the listener away from concrete analysis and into a looser state of attentiveness, in which the song might more easily induce an emotional rather than an intellectual response.

Thomas Charlie Pedersen is a Danish musician who showed up last year on Fingertips as half of the sibling duo Vinyl Floor. “Slow Passage” is the third of 15 tracks on the album Employees Must Wash Their Hands, set for release next week. This will be Pedersen’s third solo album; Vinyl Floor, meanwhile, have five full-length releases to date. You can check out Pedersen’s previous albums on Spotify; the new one will be up there on April 14.

MP3 via the artist.

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