by Jim Di Gioia

November 1, 2016

sivarT, ¢

I love reading just as much as I love listening to music. Every night in bed before sleep lays claim to my consciousness, I love playing an old favourite or new discovery in the background as I enjoy a chapter or two of the book I’m working my way through. Right now, I’m in the middle of devouring Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography. It’s a hefty tome, full of The Boss’s musing on musicianship, craft, humble beginnings and heroic rock star posturing. You might assume that my soundtrack of choice would be The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle or Darkness on the Edge of Town. You’d be wrong.

Time and again, I’m turning to the delicate joys of ¢, a short collection of six songs by sivarT to provide a musical accompaniment to Springsteen’s prose. sivarT is one Travis Stokl, drummer for The Elwins, and ¢ is an impressive collection of impressionistic folk pop.

Where Bandcamp offers artists a space to share a song’s lyrics, Stokl provides context and background for his musical inspirations. Knowing that opening song “Annette Bening” is actually the second he’d written about the actress in the span of a couple weeks adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the experience of listening to it. Stokl’s musings on all six songs amounts to his own small but insightful memoir of music making that makes ¢ a multi-sensory pleasure.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia

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