Deep As You Go...

This is the cover of the first October Project CD, which I bought back in late 1993 based solely on this photograph. I had never heard of OP before, but something about this picture grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I had to buy the CD because the cover enchanted me. As it happened, the music proved equally enchanting, if not more so.

October Project defies definition or categorization, and that, in the end, sealed their fate as a "non-saleable" property. The marketing/promotion guys couldn't figure out how to sell them because they simply did not fit any neat slot in the record store racks. They're not pop; they're too good to be pop, too dark, brooding, and thoughtful. They're not exactly rock; they're too melodic, and a little too folksy. But they're DEFINITELY not folk music!

As far as I'm concerned, the very soul of October Project is lead vocalist Mary Fahl. Mary's voice quite literally sends chills down my spine, it is that haunting and rich and full of feeling and warmth and dark textures of meaning. I saw the band perform live in San Francisco last winter, and it was positively a religious experience to watch Mary not just perform the songs, but live them.

This photograph continues to work some incomprehensible magic upon me. What is it? It is somehow full of pathos and humor and innocence, ringing bells long silent in my memory of childhood and autumn and the dark mysteries of the season. Like the music inside, this cover touches places in my heart I had almost forgotten existed for lack of nourishment. October Project is, on many levels, food for the soul. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But such a rare combination of melody, harmony, poetic lyrics, and Mary Fahl's indescribably rich voice and intense performance render this stuff sublime. If you can find either of their CDs, take a listen and judge for yourself (the first one is still my favorite).


Links to October Project Sites: