I know that I am by no means the first person to write about this amazing band from L.A. and their home recorded self titled debut album, however The Airborne Toxic Event have brought out the hidden poisons of romantic past. I was given the album by my best friends Aunt in Pennsylvania this past Thanksgiving weekend. Her and I have shared music before, last year when I was also at her farm for Thanksgiving. I hope I can continue this journey for many years ahead. I copied the album to my laptop along with a large stack of others. It took me until yesterday to listen to it.
I haven't had such a visceral response to an album since I first heard Funeral. The first time I heard the Arcade Fire debut I listened to it at least thirty times in that week. I've only listened to this album somewhere near ten, but yesterday was the first time I put it on.
This album is filled with fear and heartbreak and those places in your soul that you want to ignore.
My appetite towards the album helped me discover the story behind Mikel Jollett, the lead singer and lyricist. It turns out that Mikel was diagnosed with a genetic over-active immune system which could cut 20 years from his life. The next day his mother called to tell him she was diagnosed with cancer. The day after that he separated from his long term girl friend. The day after that he quit his job and set to write a great American novel.
After toiling over this book that would never be, he picked up a guitar and started to write songs. Hundreds of tracks poured out from his brittle heart and mind. In an article from NME he said “All I did was make music. The feeling wasn’t that I had so much more to say but that I had so much less time to say it.”
The debut full length from The Airborne Toxic Event is a triumph of human tenacity. The album is a testament that even in the state of the world the most challenged and broken individuals can add a dose of beauty. Mikel has helped me remember that as much as patience can help you succeed, there is still 'no day but today.'
I know I am not their first fan or their last. I was sad I had not heard them sooner because they played in New York tonight. I can say I am grateful for now being a fan. If you haven't heard or seen the video before for 'Sometime Around Midnight' I suggest you give it a view.
The Airborne Toxic Event MySpace