Songs You May Have Missed #483


Blackfield: “Jupiter” (2013)

If you’re getting the impression this blog has a crush on Aviv Geffen’s Blackfield project, you would be correct.

In all honesty, the newly-released Blackfield IV is the most uneven Blackfield album yet, and could have benefitted from more of Steven Wilson’s input on the songwriting front. The Porcupine Tree frontman had been a greater part of the first two records, on which his influence showed in the form of more guitar in the mix. With the past two albums seeing less of Wilson’s participation due to his solo projects, the songwriting has been 100 per cent Geffen, who also seems to also be winning most of the arguments about the arrangements, which more orchestral pop than guitar rock.

This isn’t all bad though, especially for fans of the mellower side of Pink Floyd and the ELO of “One Summer Dream” and “Strange Magic”. Geffen readily cites both bands as influential of his dreamy, orchestral pop sound.

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Songs You May Have Missed #329

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Blackfield: “Blackfield” (2005)

Moody, brooding, haunting, lush, rich, gorgeous…it’s easy to apply adjectives to the music of Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen. What’s difficult is pinning down the precise nature of the magic in the music they make together–what makes it so singular.

This is the song “Blackfield” from the album of the same name, by the duo of the same name. If you’re looking for a comparison, all I can come up with is Dark Side of the Moon. Though it’s an imperfect match, if you like that album there’s a good chance you’ll hear the beauty in what these guys do as well. This would sit atop my list of contemporary rock to recommend to fans of classic rock.

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Songs You May Have Missed #236


Blackfield: “Pain” (2005)

I gushed about these guys on other occasions so there’s no reason to repeat all the reasons I think they’re great. But I do want to share another of my favorite Blackfield songs so…feel my “Pain”.

When modern-day prog rock’s leading light, Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, and Israeli pop rock legend Aviv Geffen get together they make a mesmerizing brand of shoegazing catharsis. As I’ve said before, if you can appreciate this kind of thing, you can appreciate that no one does this kind of thing better. Blackfield’s first two albums should be considered classics of their time.

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Recommended Albums #24


Blackfield: Blackfield II (2007)

From a perhaps overzealous endorsement of this album I posted on another site a few years ago, only the final paragraph is worthy of reproduction here:

This is rock music with beauty as it’s defining characteristic; sophisticated, wondrously arranged stuff that can be played softly or loudly to equally enjoyable effect. Songs that straddle the lands of “dark” and “catchy”, two musical land masses which I previously thought didn’t share a border. This is music which doesn’t employ hooks but tendrils, the more deftly and permanently to attach itself to your brain. And once it’s there you’ll be glad of it, except for the itch you’ll feel to turn everyone else on to the perfection you now hear.

This album does indeed wrap itself around you, bathing you in its dark, morose glories.

Samples of the record’s gloomy lyrical vocabulary:

Silence, pain, fears, tears, anger, emptiness, alone, freezing, coldness, dark, storms, nightmares, wounded, killer, killing, die, dying, scream, cut, thorns, poison, epidemic, bleeds, jealousy, crimes, prison, lies, sin, blame, ignorance, fools, slaves, gutter, hell, devil, funerals, hopeless, disease, and dead.

So a Styx album it ain’t.

However, it’s the unlikely pairing of the album’s dark vision with glorious harmonies and beautiful arrangements that makes it so unique. If any other band comes to mind listening to Blackfield II it might be Pink Floyd. But mostly this band is an original, and have forged their own sound, inhabiting a place at the crossroads of the melodic and the melanic.

Blackfield is the duo of Brit Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree and a dozen or so side projects) and Aviv Geffen, a renowned and somewhat controverisal Israeli pop/rock icon. It would seem a unlikely pairing, but musically their compatibility is undeniable.


Listen to: “Once”

Listen to: “1,000 People”

Listen to: “Miss U”

Listen to: “This Killer”

Listen to: “My Gift Of Silence”

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