Song of the Day, October 1: I Often Dream of Trains by Robyn Hitchcock

RobynTrains(NY)Today’s song is the title track from Robyn Hitchcock’s unexpected third solo album, I Often Dream of Trains. After a few years with post-punk psychedelia masters the Soft Boys, Hitchcock released Black Snake Diamond Role, a slight shift to pop that mined fairly familiar territory nicely. The problem-plagued Groovy Decay (aka Groovy Decoy aka Gravy Deco) followed, never quite finding its groove. For Trains, Hitchcock stripped things down, crafting a very acoustic guitar/piano/vocal album that shines with a powerful less-is-more aesthetic.

Hitchcock’s off-kilter wit, potent observations, and fine sense of language are given more space in the spare settings, and the disc remains a highlight of his long, eclectic career. The title track is a perfect example, coursing with a quirky Englishness. Hitchcock manages to hew to the national fascination with train travel while simultaneously bemoaning the end of an era. It’s a perfectly constructed song of fragile beauty and his vocals are finer than ever.

Enjoy this lovely ode to times gone by today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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