Sebadoh: On Love's Collapse, 'Soul and Fire'

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Soul and Fire"
  • Artist: Sebadoh
  • CD: Bubble & Scrape
  • Genre: Indie-Rock
Sebadoh 300

Sebadoh's "Soul and Fire" conveys a knotty bundle of conflicting emotions. courtesy of Sebadoh hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of Sebadoh

By the time Lou Barlow opens his mouth to sing, Sebadoh's 1993 single "Soul and Fire" has already conveyed a knotty bundle of conflicting emotions: They're all there in the aching, deliberately paced opening notes. From there, Barlow catalogs a relationship's combustible ingredients ("It's all a matter of soul and fire / infatuation and true desire") before documenting love's collapse and announcing, with unambiguous resignation, "I think our love is coming to an end."

"Soul and Fire" leads off one of Sebadoh's several near-masterpieces, 1993's Bubble & Scrape, which was just lovingly reissued with 15 bonus tracks. Like its successors, Bakesale and Harmacy, it's a sublimely messy gem that mixes awkwardly delicate beauty with jarring discord. Here's hoping that a new generation of fans discovers "Soul and Fire," digs deeper into Sebadoh's catalog, and reconsiders Barlow — who's also done great work as a solo artist, as well as in Dinosaur Jr and Folk Implosion — as a brooding rock genius who deserves to be coaxed back into the spotlight.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Related NPR Stories

Purchase Featured Music

Bubble & Scrape

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Bubble & Scrape

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor