15 September 2005

understatement : seth horan

quick, five seconds to answer this question: how many singer-songwriters do you know use the bass guitar as their instrument of choice? my answer: one. i found out about seth horan, former bassist of vertical horizon, from amazon's "listeners who bought...also bought..." recommendations system. it doesn't always work, but i'm glad to have stumbled into seth anyway. listen to this song and marvel at how skilful this guy is with his digits. but that's just half the story. his songwriting is actually very smart, and his voice is quite convincing too. understatement is a perfect pop song where all its elements just gel tightly together. the title refers to a relationship in which those involved conceal their true feelings and expectations of each other, but it also describes the way seth's bass guitar takes second place behind his storytelling. so many rock songs are written to highlight the virtuosity of their guitarists, and for someone like seth who's a rare breed, it's so easy to get tempted to do the same with his bass so he can get noticed. but he doesn't fall for it; he's a songwriter first and bassist second. my favorite line from this song:
See, we've been doing what we can to hide these scars we can't conceal. They don't run deep; they'll heal with time; we're not that bitter yet, I guess. But it saddens me to know you understand my loneliness, and if heartache caused these scars to one as innocent as you, then yours will look like mine; you wait, you'll see what time can do.
like he says here, the song could have been a diary entry one day in late november. learn more about seth and his latest (2004) album conduit from this review. his two albums are also downloadable on itunes music store.

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