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Music Geek Track of The Week: Boards of Canada’s “Reach For The Dead”


A former editor once gave me some good advice that comparing the vibe of a song to drug-induced sensations is often lazy figurative language. This has been really solid wisdom for pushing the boundaries of my diction when something sounds viscerally hazy, but at this specific juncture in time, I am managing the post-operative pangs of wisdom tooth extraction, and so the Percocet wave I am riding is sort of the motor for all activities I am currently engaged in. Namely: moaning, sippin’ yellow Gatorade, drooling yellow Gatorade on my shirt, and losing track of time.

This last item was the impetus behind my choice for this week’s TOTW. Boards of Canada’s last full-length, my personal fave, was 2005’s “The Campfire Headphase,” and in the first moments of their new single “Reach for the Dead,” you get the feeling that you may have heard the track on that last album. In a central way, the band’s legacy has always been about some sort of seasonal arc. The painstaking amount of precision to tweak but also replicate their sound has always been one of the key drawing points to their music, and every five-or-so years, they return with a bafflingly surreal iteration of something you thought they may have already done. Its a slow process, but it is also very sudden and severe. Do I sound like a high guy thinking right now? Yup.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t Do Drugs, Kids. Unless some first-world-operation renders you useless for a week and some nurse that smells like a Wendy’s parking lot writes you a script for pain meds. Then by all means, do those drugs.

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  1. Nick says:

    Lol, sorry – kinda sounded like a jerk – but seriously, what is there to this musical track? I’m honestly curious, there’s just no melody and little change in tone – it doesn’t seem to fit the conditions for music…

    wow… this is a pointless… 😀 debating with the internet is like casting stones at the wind.

  2. Aaron says:

    @nick “Style”? “Music Analysis”? You give yourself too much credit.

  3. Nick says:

    This is little but white noise – call this style of musical analysis archaic, but doesn’t a piece of music derive its complexity and soul from a tonal shifts, layering, and a recognisable theme conveying emotion?

    This piece of music is of nothing. If that is what you like, then more power to you; but if so, you have poor taste. 🙁