crowded shoulders – I Deal

by | Jan 3, 2021 | Song of the Day

In your patience you will gain your souls. — Jesus, Luke 21:19

Therefore, to gain his soul was a task that announced a struggle with the whole world, since it began with letting a person be at the goal of that earthly craving, possessing the whole world in order to give it away.Søren Kierkegaard, Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses

If one is waiting for a train that is scheduled to arrive, there is a reasonable expectation that a train of the anticipated type actually exists, and that its cars will, eventually, fill your field of vision. A late train is justifiably cause for consternation. If the wait is for a deity, preferably one bearing salvation, then those in the queue will happily stand by, raptly grasping their golden tickets, for an infinite interval even without proof that the deliverer abides.

If one is waiting for one’s own self to deliver said salvation — to get over, to reconcile, to mentally come to terms with a pain, a person, a failure, an experience — then the wait could last the remaining lifetime, could last so long that the pentas in the garden viewed from the back window reseed and return and repeat the process until the soil is depleted of the needed nutrients and the bed becomes barren and it all blurs together and you are still waiting for the buzz in your metaphysical ear to cease. ‘I Deal,’ by crowded shoulders, is the soundtrack that plays on loop as the timestamp on that still-kept photograph recedes from Past to Distant Past to Ancient History.

another year,
i don’t feel a thing
disappear like summer

i don’t know what else
there is to say, anyway

square one, that was fun
I had a good time
dead speak, hide and seek
stepped on a landmine

it’s no big deal, just how I feel
it hurt like hell, but it was real
you loved so hard,
your skin’s like orange peel

crowded shoulders self-describe ‘I Deal’ as ‘65-era Beatles covering a Smashing Pumpkins song. The track eases to life with shimmering lead guitars and softly-strummed acoustics, then builds as each segment adds more musical backbone. The traditional verse-chorus-bridge structure is elusive, with the lyrics reading more as a poem than as a song. I especially enjoy the two-note lead line that connects the thoughts.

Based in New Jersey, crowded shoulders is Daniel D’Adamo and Matthew Hoiem, with help on ‘I Deal’ from Matt Olsson on drums and percussion. Today’s track marks their second appearance is these pages; last September Fluffy the Cat reviewed ‘No Mystery’ from their ten-song album, Spectacle. The music of crowded shoulders is available on Bandcamp, Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music. And be sure to follow crowded shoulders on Instagram and Facebook.

Bonus Track: A cool cover of one of my favorite songs.

Since 2013, Reverb Raccoon has featured the best music from unknown and independent musicians. His interests include eating leftovers from the neighbor’s garbage can and watching The Royal Tenenbaums.  Email:

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