This album is essentially a love note for the disenchanted and morose souls. However, it also has some incredible, fun music on it as well. Made up of pre-war recordings (1917-1935) from the Cajun bayous to Appalachia and all the way across the pond to the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine, the songs on this album are from a time when music played a much bigger part in people’s lives. It wasn’t nearly as accessible as it is today, but it served as a well-needed outlet for the hardship of day to day living. Listening to music was an emotional release as much as it was a form of entertainment. Most people didn’t have access to recorded music. You had to rely on your own talent and knowledge, as well as the abilities and instruments of those around you. This made for a very personal connection to music. Songs were about your own troubles and triumphs. They were shared with the people who walked through these experiences with you.

Aimer Et Perdre features songs that focus on love and marriage, as well as love lost, death and parting. After all, what is love, if not the deepest form of appreciating something that won’t always be there. Love is strongest when it is fragile and loss is felt the most when it involves something you cherish. In the early 1900s, there may have been a deeper sense for this, as death and loss were much more common, especially if you were living in the hills of rural America, the swamps of Louisiana or the Mountains of the Ukraine. A number of these songs are instrumental, but the sense of longing or celebration pierces through with passionate melodies played through violins, harmonicas, accordions and an assortment of strummed acoustic instruments. When these melodies are carried by voices and lyrics, it can hit you like a ton of bricks. The words aren’t always in English, but you get a pretty good sense of what they’re singing about.

So, if you see love as a spectrum of emotions and the cumulation of all things happy and tragic, then you just might see Aimer Et Perdre as the ultimate collection of love songs. If you choose to see love as a sweet escape from the troubles of the world, where it will carry you on eagles’ wings over mountains and oceans, then take your pick of songs from centuries of light hearted musings. This is not for the faint of heart or romantic idealists. This collection is fun and uplifting, but also sometimes dark and heavy…just like love.

Happy Valentines Day, Everyone!