M100FS: 97 – “The Backyard” – Miracle Legion

A great fondness for this song. I think first united with it via one of Andy Kershaw’s old radio shows at the time. Smacks of summer, this and nostalgia but there’s a message within.

Miracle Legion were a Connecticut-based band that immediately sprang to life on the heels of a post-R.E.M. guitar rock boom, chiefly because lead singer Mark Mulcahy’s voice bore an uncanny resemblance to Michael Stipe’s, and the arpeggio guitar structures were akin to Peter Buck’s.   

miracle-legion

Fair to say I’m not keen on many other Miracle Legion songs, perhaps “Everyone In Heaven” makes the grade but I think The Backyard is awesome and don’t take my word for it. This is what Radiohead’s Thom Yorke said (The Guardian: May 2016)

Few records had overwhelmed me as much as Miracle Legion’s six-track debut EP, The Backyard, which indeed shared similarly haunting, homespun tones with REM, but replaced Michael Stipe’s cryptic tendencies with Mark Mulcahy’s much more direct, and devastating, emotional hits – a rarity in that college-rock era of 60s revivalism and post-hardcore.

“Yesterday, we cut down the apple tree / The cracking wood made my little heart tremble / I wish I didn’t have to try so hard / But little boys got a lot to remember,” ran The Backyard’s brilliant title track, opening a record defined by a profound yearning for childhood and the memory of Mulcahy’s brother, who had died in a car accident. Even if the closing track Steven Are You There? referred to a friend Mulcahy had grown up with, and not his late sibling, the aching effect was the same. On a particularly wan day, I shocked myself by crying as I kept flipping the record over.

Think it was the hottest day of the year
Even still we started fires with the ember
Sweetest May held on at the top of the hill
Sweetest Sadie held on to her memories

The world was so big and I was so small
And your voice was always the loudest of all

Yesterday we cut down the apple tree
Cracking wood made my little heart tremble
I wish I didn’t have to try so hard
But little boys gotta lot to remember

The world was so big and I was so small
And your voice was always the loudest of all

I loved the days I spent with you
And I still have all you could offer
The backyard looks so empty now
Then I think of her, I think of her

The world was so big and I was so small
And your voice was always the loudest

The world was so big and I was so small
Your voice was always
The world was so big and I was so small
Your voice was always the loudest of all

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.