Several months ago when I first heard Heartland, I honestly didn’t much care for it. Multiple other folks said they didn’t get it, that it was over their head, and/or didn’t like it at all. I happened to fall in a category somewhere closer to apathy than hating-the-fuck-out-of-it-and-lamenting-it-wasting-my-hard-drive-space.
My apathy was shaken some time after I happened to view the above video for “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt.” The change wasn’t immediate following my video viewing, rather it took a few weeks of neither viewing the video again, nor hearing the song. Upon hearing the track played on a local high school station one afternoon, and – in listening to it – recalling the video, I happened into a new reaction. The song, and video to a lesser extent, remind me of a scene in the Roger Avary film Rules of Attraction. The scene it reminded me of is my favorite in the movie; a scattered montage of images set to quirky (and oddly similar if I recall correctly) music, with a voice-over from the character that is experiencing numerous odd circumstances while on a trip through Europe. I have always thought the scene to be brilliant, and the more I thought about the connection and listened to the song, I felt as if “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt” could soundtrack that scene if it were being done today.
There is a feeling I get, from both scene and song, of random experimentation. Letting the world, or day, develop organically even if things gets weird as shit. This feeling, and my newfound enjoyment of the song, has caused me to reassess the album as a whole. In kind, I will shortly be revisiting this album in full to see if this was just an isolated experience. So while Owen Pallett is certainly a little odd and his music isn’t for everyone, he is clearly a very talented artist and capable of hitting some proper nerves in this listener, instead of missing or confounding all of them completely.