While singing in the school choir, Nedelle was inspired by the lyrics of a Brahms lieder – “I want to lock up all the spiteful mouths”. Struck by this trivial but timeless sentiment, she imagined a heroic, yet menacing locksmith and found it demented and funny. In fact, most of “The Locksmith Cometh” revels in a bizarre feeling of humor and sadness. Perhaps she’s been influenced by her friendship with New Orleans cult songwriter Biff Rose. And much like gossip is uncontrollable, the subjects of Nedelle’s songs often approach that which is seemingly insurmountable - from death and war to breakups and hopelessness.
“Friends & Ancestors", for example, is sarcastically sung from the perspective of an army recruitment officer. During its chorus, the character sings one line while a traditional Shaker song sounds in the background, a lyrical antidote - “love is little, love is low, love will make our spirit grow…” “Every Single Spring” asks a friend who committed suicide, “Won’t you terribly miss all your favorite things? Food dried, salted and tinned, and every single spring”.
The music fits this paradoxical feeling too, from the bouncy, Shirelles-inspired “Ghost Ships” and “Your Fiance”, to the Vashti Bunyan-esque “The Last Thing I Do” and “Ex-Priest”. Breaking from the cleaner and more folk sound of her previous two records on Kill Rock Stars, “The Locksmith Cometh” finds Nedelle in a garage-y state of mind, one where electric guitars are welcome, too.
Nedelle played violin, guitar and keyboards on the album, and had a couple of special guests to fill out the arrangements – Chris Cohen (The Curtains) offered drums, bass, and some guitar; Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) also played additional guitar.
During the time she was making this record, she was busy opening tours for her friends Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu, Jens Lekman, Magnolia Electric Co., and Destroyer. More recently she played as second guitarist for The Curtains, and finished a BA in music.
Download MP3: 11 The Last Thing I Do.mp3