One of the original title proposals for Deceased and Residing in Oakland was “Cold Tidings” (for those who’ve read the book that makes perfect sense, I assure those of you who haven’t). Due diligence turned up that the expression was already in better use by Portland Indie band Crude Thumb for their signature mood medium Cold Tidings Beyond the Bends.
The correspondence of the quirky, quiet and disquieting attitude of this frankly stunning song and the viewpoint of a 1940s style detective tale set in the zombie era is uncanny. So with the generous support of one-man operation Chayse Cope (whose name alone warrants some degree of star status) Cold Tidings Beyond the Bends now accompanies the trailer to Deceased and Residing in Oakland and it complements the quotes and visuals with a haunting ease.
The video can be found here and of course you’re encouraged to watch it for the eccentric yet concentric meeting of mediums — excerpts from the book and the entirety of Cold Tidings Beyond the Bends. Having done that (and bought the book) you should give a listen to more of what Crude Thumb is working on. Cold Tidings is an excellent introduction but no two songs on the current four-title space are alike. They are, however, smoothly thematic, and work together as the foundation on which Crude Thumb is currently building new material to be released this year.
It’s a compelling project. The polished production quality is probably a function of Cope’s intimacy with his own work — it’s got the flawless flow of a stream of consciousness and indeed the beat lyrics present themselves not unlike Leonard Cohen’s written poetry:
Tendrils of glancing around the hall
Fought for the pillar it stood alone
Spoken direction across my own
Grey fatigue, kept uncomfortable
Slow, living through the tolls
Fit in it, pace around, flaunt the glove
You may be late for everything
Turn around, turn around
Cold Tidings Beyond the Bends
Cope describes the current state of Crude Thumb as more of an experimental folk project than a band and that’s as good a classification as any. But the fact that it’s hard to classify Crude Thumb is fundamental to the serendipitous experience of accidentally finding something genuinely new.