Warehouse's 'Reservoir' Is A Tangled, Jangled Love Song : All Songs Considered Brought together by a shared love of R.E.M., Pylon and The B-52s, the Atlanta rock band navigates kudzu-thick paths in a love song inspired by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.
NPR logo Viking's Choice: Warehouse, 'Reservoir'

Viking's Choice: Warehouse, 'Reservoir'

Warehouse. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Warehouse.

Courtesy of the artist

Love songs should be weird. Not that there's anything wrong with anthems that grab everyone's hearts in racing thump-thump-thumps (sup, RiRi), but more love songs ought to burst and break, fold and fall apart, move at an impossibly slow pace or -- gulp — not move at all. Warehouse set out to make a simple love song, but as "Reservoir" came together, the Atlanta rock band fell into love's contradictions and pulled out a tangled, jangled mess.

"'Reservoir' started as an attempt to divulge lyrically from a very personal style of songwriting towards a very simple Belle & Sebastian-esque love song," singer Elaine Edenfield tells NPR. "Quickly though, due to an obsession with T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, it became again a very personal and hard-to-swallow sort-of love song, full of contradiction. It is about the difficulties of continuing a relationship when from the start it has been marred by external tragedies and a loss of control. It deeply echoes Eliot's poem in the search for meaning and fulfillment within the relationship and in life, and the search for peace throughout."

"Reservoir" comes from Warehouse's second album, Super Low. In the song, Alex Bailey and Ben Jackson's labyrinthine guitars navigate kudzu-thick paths through Josh Hughes' walking bass line, which creeps like David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World," as drummer Doug Bleichner's steady hands and feet keep it all moving forward. Meanwhile, Edenfield is a singer whose attention is split between her heart and an outer dimension:

I can tell we're heading towards the apex

Or the end

And either way

It will be fine

But I know you've been fearful of tomorrow

For all you know

Tomorrow it will be too late

You can hear Michael Stipe and Vanessa Briscoe Hay in Edenfield's voice, which alternates between a folksy vibrato and a hard rasp that crackles like a fried egg in a hot skillet. After all, Warehouse was originally formed by friends with a shared love for '80s Athens bands like R.E.M., Pylon and The B-52s. And like those icons of weird rock, "Reservoir" still manages to dance in its grit.

Super Low comes out Sept. 30 on Bayonet.