Big Blood – “Adversaries & Enemies”
appears on Sew Your Wild Days Tour Vol. I
I feel like I’ve written this story a dozen times, but I’ll write it again. I love the way that Big Blood promote and distribute their music. Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella have record label experience through their other projects like Cerberus Shoal, and have released a select few Big Blood albums through independent labels, however, the vast majority of their output (and it is vast) is released digitally for free through Free Music Archive. If you like what you hear, you can order a CDR with handmade packaging and artwork through their Etsy page. I’ve ordered about six of their albums and EPs to date and they’re beautiful little packages – screen printed covers on thick-stock paper, sharpie artwork on the CDs and all manner of notes, mementos, offcut scraps and Kinsella’s own artwork to fill things out (plus, in one instance, a note of thanks from the band). Each one is unique by virtue of their production method, which makes them some of the most sentimental favourites in my physical collection. I’m mentioning all of this not only because it’s a really awesome way to release music, but because that sense of care and delicate craft is such a perfect match for their avant-folk music, so spirited, singular and sentimental. My favourite Big Blood album is the magnificent Space Gallery Jan. 27, 2007 / Sahara Club Jan. 28, 2007 (favourite tracks “The Rise of Quinnisa Rose” and “She Said Nothing”) but it’s a testament to the strength of the band’s material that my three favourite Big Blood songs lie elsewhere. Two of those songs came out during the 2000s – “Oh Country (Skin and Bones)”, the romantic peak of their collaborative effort Big Blood and the Bleedin’ Hearts and “Adversaries & Enemies” from Sew Your Wild Days Tour Vol. I. “Adversaries & Enemies” conjures up the most satisfying atmosphere – I want to liken it to a comfortable back porch or late-night campfire, but those comparisons feel too limiting. The seven minute opening track is built upon a wistful framework of banjo, slide guitar and uplifting flourishes of electric guitar, with Kinsella’s forthright vocal floating above it all. It is truly one of my favourite vocals – any genre, any era.