The Slow Turn: A Collection of Pop Waltzes

This is a compilation of mostly indie pop waltzes. When used in a pop song, the waltz is a rhythm that communicates, to me, most often a feeling of resignation — the song goes round and round with no expectation of reaching a destination. It is effective to communicate nostalgia, a hopeless longing. At its most cheerful, it celebrates a contented present state of being. Regardless of the emotion being expressed, the waltz is always wonderfully in the moment of it. Because I have no technical comprehension of music, there likely are songs on here that are not truly waltzes, but they still seem to have the same spirit…

Click the links below to stream the compilation; the songlist follows.

Part one (tracks 1-12):

Part two (tracks 13-24):

1. Jolie Holland “Pure Imagination”
2. Bertolt Brecht “Mack the Knife”
3. Susumu Yokota “Merrygoround”
4. Morning Recordings “Sugar Waltz”
5. Fruit Bats “Flamingo”
6. Kelley Stoltz “No World Like the World”
7. Beirut “A Sunday Smile”
8. Page France “Windy”
9. Seabear “Owl Waltz”
10. the sea & the gulls “There’s an Owl in the Clock”
11. The Finches “The House Under The Hill”
12. Jens Lekman “It Was A Strange Time In My Life”
13. Stars “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Final Fantasy Remix)”
14. Okkervil River “Down the River of Golden Dreams”
15. Neutral Milk Hotel “Engine”
16. Big Star “Take Care”
17. Serge Gainsbourg “Valse De Melody”
18. DeVotchKa “La Llorona”
19. Chet Atkins “The Jitterbug Waltz”
20. Flash Domincii and the Supersonics “Yepa! Ire”
21. Blur “Ernold Same”
22. Walkmen “Another One Goes By”
23. Ida Maria “In the end”
24. Sufjan Stevens “Sister”
June 2010

*Cover art by Arthur Rackham for Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” 1926

Send me a message (or complete the form on this page) for more information.


To give you a sense of the sound, here are a few “videos” with songs from the compilation:

2 Responses to The Slow Turn: A Collection of Pop Waltzes

  1. moya watson says:

    i have to say — though i’m only partway through enjoying this particular compilation — it took my breath away from the start. our girl’s been diving into willy wonka and the chocolate factory, and on the side, we’ve even been doing some young frankenstein — so gene wilder is a bit of a theme at present, and pure imagination is an absolutely dreamy perfect first song — especially when you have it rendered so intriguingly by jolie holland!!! as for mack the knife — is that *really* bert brecht himself singing it? i’ll have to go back and specifically listen.
    thanks, victor, yet again for another wonderous reason to remember that magical connection between music and the savage beast.

  2. vodem says:

    Thanks, Moya! Yes, that Jolie Holland version blew me away the instant I heard it. And my understanding is that it is indeed Brecht singing this version of “Mack the Knife.” It certainly sounds plausible on listening to the song…

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