Nova Anatomia or the Small Problem of Gods & Bodie
To stress the relationship between words and music, Carson Metzger has released his second album, A Nova Anatomia or The Small Problem of Gods & Bodies, with a 16-page 7.5 x 7.5 color book. This novel format adds an additional dimension to the music: the songs are further dramatized through the images and lyrics contained in the book. The pages of the Nova Anatomia, crafted to look like an old anatomy text, are filled with fading pictures and the thoughtful lyrics of Metzger's thirteen songs. The songs of the Nova Anatomia weave ideas of flesh into matters of spirit; the bodies of Gods into the souls of humans. From the serious tone of a regretful mapmaker (The Most Stellar Cartographer), and the introspection of a war photographer (Snuff Film), to the quirky misadventures of a horny God with human desires (A Writerly Device), the Nova Anatomia juxtaposes themes of faith, deceit, intimacy, and love with playful social commentary. In these thirteen songs, Metzger departs from the vagueness of contemporary songwriting by focusing on the drama of specific characters facing particular situations. Using a technique he terms 'conversational narrative,' Metzger advances his plots through the dialogue of characters talking to friends, lovers, their gods, and themselves. Where he takes lyrical cues from Graceland-era Paul Simon, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Randy Newman, his songs owe equally as much to the fantasies of Joanna Newsom and the edgy sentiment and dramatic theatrics of Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. Metzger's storytelling is accompanied by playful instrumentation. Where an acoustic guitar forms the spine of the overall album, electric guitars, toy harps, banjos, percussion, and blips and whirs serve as the landscapes upon which his characters war and play. Metzger generates computer noises by sampling his vocals and guitars and running the samples through digital effects. The results can be heard in the fuzzy xylophone-hums on Monsters! And the dry horns of Snuff Film. Veering from quiet whispers into frenzied screams, Metzger leavens his low growl with a vulnerable falsetto. He stylizes his vocal delivery rounding the ends off of words to accent rhymes while stretching vowels to underscore rhythm. Carson Metzger presents: A Nova Anatomia or The Small Problem of Gods & Bodies is a groundbreaking work: from the lush images of the 16-page book to the gentle dissonance of toy harps in a Writerly Device, Metzger has produced a dynamic stage upon which he delivers his latest lyrical masterpiece.