I was recently shown the album 606 MPH by Betelmire and I keep finding myself revisiting it.
Only available on YouTube, the description reads:
“606 MPH was recorded on an analog four track at the house on Valentine Avenue, sometime between summer '04 and winter '05. The album in its entirety was an experimental creative endeavor by the betel. Her brother played the drums on A Record Low.”
606 MPH is an eight track album of innocence, curiosity, and longing. It features the calming vocals of Christy Ruschmeyer and (as the Youtube description says) her analog four track. The music itself is simplistic, but lyrically I believe there is depth and beauty.
“My Mensa Dream” is probably my favorite track. I first listened in my dorm room, which made the experience feel more personal. Although I’m listening to this 16 years later, I can picture her recording it in the same setting, whatever her own space may have looked like… Or maybe that she is there next to me on my floor singing about stars, spheres, and perfect infinities. Betelmire’s lack of fans makes the listen even more intimate- like it’s just us two and the person you think about when you hear her sing.
“Your photograph” is another pretty song. Christy sings, “on colored film strips is where I see you soon.” I asked my girlfriend what she thought of the song, and she told me “I really like that one. Like the lyrics about how I’ll never know you but I’m going to give you sentimental thoughts… and just the concept of taking pictures of strangers and what they could be like through that single photo.” I believe this is the track where we see Christy’s curiosity most. It’s a song about giving the unknown familiarity, so you can sink into it and fill the spaces you never knew existed.
The album feels complete when I reach the song “The Outer Island.” Lyrically, this track is, perhaps, the most straightforward. It’s a 2 minute song that repeats “hey, I’ve gotta know/ where you go/someday soon (and I know it’s you).” It feels like she is longing for tenderness… and the theme of ambiguity shows again, just as it did in “Your photograph.” Except this time, Christy knows the person, and we don’t. The strangers of “Your photograph” become real and become absent. They become lost.
I hope she found what she was looking for.