Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
You can picture the look of the skies in Pearl and the Beard songs. They give you the willies. You're looking into the piercing eyes of tumult. It's the worst in air and clouds, staring at you like they'll stop at nothing to end you, to wipe you clean off the map. The building acoustic guitars - played as if they were stuttering, stammering and losing their shit a little bit - and the sweeping, depths of the ocean strings make a scene that's crawling with villains. We're outnumbered by the bad vibes, but we're not sure if we're just imagining things. It could be just that. We're faced with a sea full of voices, with creatures restlessly roaming and swimming, flipping and flashing their tails and fins back and forth, bored and scared -- tired of being both. There's a feeling that everything out there in the waters, upon the waters is plotting some kind of revenge. Some of it may have already happened - say, phase one of the revenge mechanism. It feels like something out of one of Hemingway's fishing excursions, but the spirit of the captive, the prize and the meal is speaking from the beyond. It could be a sturgeon or a tuna, some big, scaly conquest, and in defeat it sings, asking for the end. It feels like a suicide note, a begging for sweet mercy. It will all be over soon, on that deck, strung up, kicking and twitching for the last time.
The skies aren't always like this. Sometimes the doom comes out of the air and there's a chance to be saved, to find love, to get some sleep. Even people who are blessed feel like they're cursed occasionally and when they feel like they're cursed, they feel like the dirt's already being shoveled onto their faces at the bottom of the grave. To see Pearl and the Beard live and in-person, is to know that they French kiss life every second of every day and when darkness creeps into their bunks, they try to get the brooms out as fast as they can, but sometimes the bats and the dark notes are tough to shoo.
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