I don't really have a sense of how people feel about Tim Buckley these days, other than a widespread unending fascination with "Song to the Siren," which could very well be a perfect song. I get the sense, though, that Happy/Sad is typically treated as Buckley's magnum opus, and that not much attention is given to Blue Afternoon, which he recorded in a month at the same time as Lorca and Starsailor. Some people think Buckley might have considered Blue Afternoon a throwaway record made to fulfill a contractual obligation to Frank Zappa and Herb Cohen's label, Straight. It's also a lot more approachable than some of his more avant-garde works, which might be off-putting to hardcore fans. I would love to hear that I'm way off and that this record is loved by many, because it's dreamy, in the more honest sense of the word.
I'm especially excited to share it today, on what feels like the first day of spring. Blue Afternoon is so lazy and honeyed that it feels like having too much wine at the picnic and drifting in and out of consciousness in the shade. Hazed in twelve-string guitar and vibraphone shimmer. Taking a jazz approach to folk, Buckley is moody, blissful, and deeply expressive. If this is in fact a throwaway album, all the more reason to stand in awe of his ability.