Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The night that Viking Moses' Brendon Massei drifts into every night is not the same one that most of the rest of us drift into. It's a slippery fall into the stews that he finds himself moving toward. They are unpleasant reminders of how hot - overheated even - the mind and the heart tend to get when they're left on high alert for too long. They are unpleasant reminders of just how demented and neurotic the turns can be when there are derailments to deal with in the wiring, in the synapses and in the dialogue. The feelings that Viking Moses songs tend to take on the most often are those of the wavering and wobbly young man who has still yet to come to a conclusion about what he wants to devote himself to out of the standardized choices. He seems to have the time being covered, making the most of all that, of traveling, of living happily, but meagerly, of taking days one at a time and just going with whatever's thrown at you from the time the sun pops up over the edge of the dirt to the time when it blows itself out over the far end, after a long semi-circle of a day.
Man, no one can complain about such a setup. Or else, no one should, but for some, or for everyone at some point, there's a panic attack that sets in, when thinking about where you might be sitting when you're 40 or 50 years old and you can't get away with the kinds of things that you're getting away with as a 30-year-old. You start seeing all of your friends from high school and college - people who, until recently, were busy doing all of the same things that you were doing until they felt something punch them in the gut - having kids, or getting married, or both. They've started putting their own roofs over their heads and they're taking care of a whole house full of people, instead of only having to worry about themselves. It can be enlightening or it could be something akin to the death knell, depending on the time of day, the company kept at any given time or the level of inebriation.
Massei seems to do an awful lot of prowling with his mind and then with his tongue, giving language to these broken or startled and antsy bodies in their states of undress. The time comes for nearly everyone, to put themselves aside and worry hard about so many other people and so many other things that it makes them actually want to fucking explode, just so the pressure could come off of them. You can understand, some days, why some people want out and they just can't find the way to the end. On the song, "In Servitude," in this session, Massei is maneuvering through a dark smoke, jammy ballad, when the wheels come off so wonderfully. You can hear him cracking, losing it as he sings, "There's food on my table/Pour trust into my hands/And pour skill into my hands/And pour love into my hands/And come out with me/Cry with the same tongue/Come share the same old," letting himself get dunked in the bowels of a sick feeling. There's simply no telling how he's going to awake the next morning or what the tint of the tender air is going to be like.
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