Absolutely Free
“Geneva Freeport”

by Jim Di Gioia

June 5, 2019

I’m notoriously bad at travelling. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of visiting foreign lands, far off worlds, and experiencing new cultures, I just prefer to do it from the comfort of my own home. I’m soft like that.

For instance, the notion of spending my holidays at the Geneva Freeport — a six-storey bunker-like institution in Switzerland whose sole purpose is to store and warehouse valuable works of art and priceless collectibles — sounds utterly intriguing. I’m imagining afternoons on walking tours of storage lockers. Spa treatments amongst Botticellis. Dining while admiring the Salvador Dalis; My own sense of importance, prominence — even potency — heightened by merely being in the presence of such vaulted works of art.

But I don’t need to actually go, thanks to Toronto art-rock trio Absolutely Free. Their brilliantly absurdist take on such a fantasy is the basis of “Geneva Freeport”, the title track of their forthcoming EP. The band poses some deeply philosophical questions while repurposing one of modern music’s most iconic lyrics: Just what kind of world have we created where everything from toothpicks to topiaries is assigned monetary value? Where even our very lives have a dollar value attached? It’s a wonder society doesn’t just lock the door, hunker down under some heavy blankets and never go outside ever again.

To a hermit like me, that doesn’t sound like such a bad way to live. But it’s not really living now, is it?

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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