Hypericum – ‘large almost cosmopolitan genus of evergreen or deciduous shrubs and herbs with often showy yellow flowers; cosmopolitan except tropical lowlands and Arctic or high altitudes and desert regions.’
The above may be true so far as botany may be concerned, but Hypericum also just so happens to be perhaps one of, if not the most breathtaking track you’ll have heard all week. It comes from a Somerville Gem Club of three, the oneiric ensemble composed of Christopher Barnes, Kristen Drymala and Ieva Berberian, and mercifully thanks to the much-lambasted internet, it’s been instantly rendered ‘cosmopolitan’ irrespective of specific context.
And so what of the song itself? Well, it begins with a slowly waltzing refrain that’s quietly redolent of something Simon Jeffes might have once contrived, before Barnes’ rustic vocal takes hold. In no way ostentatious as the jaundiced floral tarts aforementioned, it’s accompanied in due course by oddly bucolic strings, snatches of melody seemingly inspired by Lykke Li’s Dance Dance Dance, and dormant pianistic grandeur. Were it a dance, it would doubtless be a poignant one; one signalling impending separation. Although ultimately, it’s not, as it’s instead perhaps the most gut-wrenching, internal organ-wrangling composition heard thus far this year. Which, given that it teems with autumnal solemnity, couldn’t befit this glum evening better.