this is the second part in our feature series this week on galaxie 500, in conjunction with the upcoming reissue of their discography.
Of all the many great epiphanic Galaxie 500 moments, “When Will You Come Home” is perhaps the one most vividly lodged in my memory for various reasons. It is one of the first by Galaxie 500 that I have ever heard to begin with, and I guess back then I was drawn immediately to the trio’s introverted charisma and the muted melancholy of this particular song’s lonely daydream. Even listening to it today, Dean Wareham’s trebly voice and fluidly tuneful guitars still resonate strongly as ever and place the song in a perpetual mood of nostalgic wistfulness.
Much has been said about how Galaxie 500 sounded like no other, as the band members (Wareham, bassist Naomi Yang and Damon Krukowski on drums) managed to develop, within the short spell of their five years performing together, an ethereal and very unique sonic template that transcends their web of influences – think along the lines of the Velvets’ city-cool rock and roll set to dreamlike slow suspension. “When Will You Come Home” perfectly distills Galaxie 500’s slowburning sound and fury into five and a half minutes of mind-expanding pop music, Dean’s scrabbled rumination on missing someone (“staring at the wall/and waiting for your call”) ceding midway to an atmospheric afterglow of spirally guitar feedback.
Like the rest of the songs on the seminal On Fire (1989), “When Will You Come Home” occupies a stark and immeasurably fragile soundscape that further deepens the air of dreamy romanticism that surrounds Galaxie 500 – a breath of hazy tranquility to remind us of the incandescent noise that these three musicians once produced together as a collective, and that this music shall always remain blissfully ours. – keith.
on fire will be reissued on vinyl for the first time on march 30 on ba da bing! records and 20-20-20, who are also releasing today and this is our music. in addition, cd and digital versions bundled with other rarities are available for online purchase.