A Reflection on Page France’s Hello, Dear Wind
I did not care for Page France’s Hello, Dear Wind (Fall Records, re-released on Suicide Squeeze Records) when it came out in 2005. I didn’t really care for Page France’s Hello, Dear Wind when I saw them live in 2006. And I don’t care for Page France’s follow-up ...and the Family Telephone or front man Michael Nau’s subsequent projects with his band Cotton Jones. Yet, as I find myself consistently coming back and listening to Hello, Dear Wind, I am more and more impressed by this little album from nine years ago.
I think it will be helpful if I disclose why I was hesitant about Page France. In indie music, particularly the indie music popular between 2004 and 2008, there is a tendency to become very quirky. And in my opinion, a lot of bands became quirky for quirkiness sake and became parodies of themselves. Page France walks this line, from the wheezy male vocals and cute-as-a-button female vocals to the glockenspiel and album title “Hello, Dear Wind,” they can, at face value, seem too cute to be taken seriously. But there is something earnest and inviting in this album that transcends its cuteness.
At its heart, “Hello, Dear Wind” is an Easter album. The lyrics overflow with life, with earth, with resurrection. On the song “Jesus,” Nau sings,
“Jesus will come through the ground so dirty
with worms in his hair and a hand so sturdy
to call us his magic, we call him worthy
Jesus came up through the ground so dirty”
“You were told to glow majestically
and love until your hands bleed.”
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