“Flood” By Throwing Muses

Here’s another super-favorite: “Flood” by Throwing Muses, from the banger University. For me, it’s the feeling of waking up in the ICU, pumped to the gills full of fentanyl, knowing that my Bright Light is there.

For this one, I’ve tried to approximate the vocal melody and have taken a wild stab at the articulation and (in the verse) the harmony. It’s good practice to try to play vocal parts on your instrument!

The organic, ‘no rules, just feels right’ arrangement, with the odd numbers of repeats and truncated repeats, is interesting to me. It underscores that the accompaniment really follows the vocal — as sparse and as understated as it is, the vocal is leading the guitars and drums around. Kristin Hersh isn’t afraid to get a touch proggy, but she always does it in a song-y way. The nerd details don’t seem premeditated as much as a side effect of just going where the lyric needs to go, whenever that might happen. Not all feelings fit into 4 repeats of a 4-bar phrase!

The bass gives the long verse phrase movement, guiding your body through the narrative. Especially in bar 18, it takes you through the odd end of the verse as it lands neatly at the bridge (and a deft key change).

I didn’t transcribe Jane Scarpantoni’s cello part, unfortunately, and I didn’t write out all the vocal variations in the chorus. Perhaps I am a lazy goat, but at least I got this far. I’m absolutely starving for dinner.

I really like suspended chords in general; but especially here, the way they leave room for the vocals to provide the thirds. The guitar is out of the vocal’s way — but only barely! Those suspensions ambiguously lurk throughout.