Monday Feature: Jordaan Mason and The Horse Museum

“divorce lawyers i shaved my head” is comprised of 14 songs that amalgamate sexual histories to tell the story of a failed marriage between two people of confused identities and genders during a henry darger-inspired glandolinian war, complete with an equine wedding, carnival horns, unexpected male birth, haircuts, semen, and the eventual destruction of the world in 1990. it was recorded over a three-year period rife with both personal turmoil and triumph.‘ -The Horse Museum Bandcamp

divorce lawyers i shaved my head is a “pay what you want” apocalyptic folk (my own designation) album on bandcamp, Spotify and iTunes.  The Horse Museum is now defunct, but Jordaan Mason still makes music and puts it out somewhere, oh and also he lives in Toronto.

Anyways, does that description above, pulled straight from their bandcamp page, make any sense to you?  It makes sense to me, but I’ve been listening to this album at least twice a week for three months.  To simplify, the album travels through themes of death, loneliness, suicide, the end of the world, war, and confused sexual identity.  It’s loosely based around a failing marriage, sure, but its true success is perfectly capturing the feeling of something ending in music form.  It sounds like the last gasp of some crazed man watching the end of the world.  It is simply stunning.  The lyrics are exceptionally good at conveying this feeling. The words are purposefully cryptic, considering the two characters in the album are living during a war and the world’s end while on the precipice of divorce.  The 8:27 minute epic “the wrong parts (vivian sisters singing) is particularly good at establishing verbal chaos.  It features such lines like

i’m wearing the costumes of children
so i can confuse, become them
but how do you know what’s underneath

what kind of creature is in me?

Yeah.  This album is weird.

The music is just as proficient in setting the albums mood.  The drums thud like they’re slowly driving towards the inevitable.  And I wouldn’t say the lyrics are sung, it’s either a mutter or a wail.  Its an ineffective cry straight from one’s bones.  It is the release of that terrible, throbbing, achey feeling that takes up residence from the tips of my fingers to the middle of my gut.  It’s somehow comforting to be held by these songs, as if they’re saying “yeah things are shit, but it’ll be ok”.  The perfect example of this is the song, “(s)mother.”  Its embedded at the end of this article.

At the very least, respect how much sheer passion went into this thing.  I love the thing so much.  Guys, the world may be ending, but at least it’ll sound cool.

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