Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
It's something not to be lost and it seems as if it's something that River City Extension lead singer Joe Michelini can appreciate as well. For all we know, he's lost himself in Columbia before as well, off to rediscover what he's got tucked away inside. River City Extension music drums up those sorts of swelling and passionate bursts that somehow part the gray clouds while still describing them. It finds joy in the details of mass confusion and utter discontent and longing. It's music that's long on personal touch and closeness, a rousing collection of voices and instruments coming from a small family of people, all of which have found themselves together there in Tom's River, New Jersey, a city that used to produce some of the finest Little League baseball teams in the world.
Michelini and fellow singer Samantha Tacon follow each other vocally in a way that makes you feel as if they've got their arms around each other, saying, "I know it's hard. I know. But we're here for one another and tomorrow's another day." The songs take on that bottomless feeling of aloneness, as well as that ongoing problem of needing to figure out where we all go from here, what is it that really makes us happy. It's a discussion that gets suspended and dangled and ignored a lot, but we find that it comes right back around, persistently and when we crack those locks and secret passages, the sound coming from the other side of the wall probably sounds a lot like, "The Unmistakable Man." We hear Michelini singing, "I get drunk and I get restless/I get scared and I get stoned/I get scared when I'm alone," on "The Ballad of Oregon" and we sense that this feeling will never go away, no matter how much searching is done.
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