I first met Turner Cody in 2000 at the famed Balloon Heaven studio in Jersey City, where many an antifolk record was cut. He had a session before me, a cute girl with him, and sunglasses in the late evening. From his first record, Turner’s music was always pure poetry over music, almost like Leonard Cohen, except that Turner would be an alto to Cohen’s bass. I must admit I used to transcribe his songs just to admire his lyrics on the page — most memorably, early compositions like “Comfort In These Shoes” and “Unconsious Repeat”, which was included on Rough Trade’s Antifolk, Vol. 1 compilation.
Turner’s songs have since evolved into a more popular styling, but they’ve never lost their sense of poetic yearning, even when they verge on bawdy:
I’m talking ’bout the buds of May / I always want to be this way I’m talking ’bout the buds of May I’m falling off the balcony / I’m waiting in the seventh sea I am ogling and calling after thee I’m remembering sweet Amy-bird / on the esplanade of Luxembourge The tower and the view and the dew of the buds of May
Here’s a more recent video from his endless travels in Europe, perhaps where a poet of his caliber belongs.
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