the Buzz for July 19th, 2013


The Civil Wars — “The One That Got Away” (from The Civil Wars) —

I am entertaining out-of-town houseguests this morning and am not sure of their political persuasion, so I have decided to forgo my typical AM television fare — Morning Joe, MSNBC’s marvelous mix of news, chat, and fun — for VH1’s non-threatening block of music videos, which just brought me into close contact for the first time with the new single and video from this tortured duo, whose debut project — the blistering, brilliant Barton Hollow — burst out of the box a couple of years ago in a blaze of Grammy-winning glory. I just happened to read a newspaper article last week about how Joy Williams and John Paul White are no longer on speaking terms following their acrimonious split while in the midst of a European tour half a year ago, and rumors are flying that White’s actual participation in the completion of the Wars’ sophomore album was fairly minimal (rumors that would seem to be buttressed rather convincingly by the set’s intense, intoxicating lead single, in which White comes off as little more than a featured harmony vocalist). The video itself packs more fascinating romantic drama and yearning into three-some minutes than most films manage to fill two hours with; indeed, not since Fleetwood Mac dusted off their forgotten classic “Silver Springs” in 1997 — and put Stevie and Lindsay on stage, staring sharp daggers straight into each other’s very souls, to sing it — has a band’s rocky interpersonal dynamics (not to mention what we, the salivating audience, happen to know about same) led to such a rough, riveting musical triumph.