Song for the day

Song for the day 04/07/21: Ride, “Natural Grace”

Ease into your Sunday evening with the glorious harmonies of Mark and Andy.

On the 28th of May 1994, 19 year old me was just scribbling in my diary about the ephemera of the week – recent uni lectures, my latest CD shopping spree – when said exposition was interrupted by breaking news.

…hey! they just played a new Ride song on triple J! From the “stunning and brilliant” new album! And it was great indeed, “Natural Grace”, devastating guitar sound, harmonies  über alles*, so relentlessly happy you feel pummelled. I feel dangerously close to falling dangerously in love with this band again. And the album’s called “Carnival of Light”! Best album title ever! Bit of a change from yer “Nowhere”s and “Going Blank Again”s. Out in two or three weeks, apparently. I can’t wait, as ever.’

*I was studying German at the time and so tended to insert random German phrases into all my diary entries ‘cos I thought it was cool. Not too sure about this one but hey, it was the 90s

Ride had been my favourite band in the world for a brief period between March 1992 and October 1993, when they were summarily booted from the top spot by the Manics. Now it was 1994, a year packed with unfathomably brilliant music, and I was eagerly awaiting the return of Ride to see if I’d still love them as much as I once did. “Natural Grace” certainly did its part in making me love them like I used to, as noted. Its hypnotic guitar motif, celestial harmonies and endlessly glorious melodic turns had me captivated, and then that middle bit, where they emphatically declare “I walk through confusion with a smile on my face!” before that cosmos-piercingly divine guitar solo sends you into an alternate universe, completely dazzled me. It’s safe to say that “Natural Grace” was the most uplifting and euphoric song from any of my musical faves that year (for lest we forget, this was the year of “The Holy Bible” and “Dog Man Star”).

I’ll discuss “Carnival of Light” in depth in a future post, but suffice it to say that it did not quite live up to my expectations following this song. But it’s still an era I cherish from one of the most important bands of my life, and seriously, more people need to hear this utterly glorious song. And I would absolutely kill to hear them play it live.

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