Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
So much of what we experience in an A Weather song is done with appropriate distance applied, with a perspective that's been consoled and has had its shoulders and back rubbed, as if the heating of the skin a bit, under the shirt was exactly what the doctor ordered to dry up the sobs and the heaving/hyperventilating. It's all done after appropriate consideration has been made. Shit's been reasoned out a bit from the time of the actual infraction to the time when Aaron Gerber and Sarah Winchester begin to sing about said worrisome events. Things have been ironed a little bit. Those damaged people, those anxious and panic-stricken folks, have had themselves a bottle of wine, a good meal and a sedative and are starting to calm down a little. It's no longer the end of the world - all of these problems and issues and all that scariness - and so everything's looking brighter, though they still prefer to keep the shades drawn and to let only a manageable amount of light in to blanket the room in a din. The alert level still needs to be in the red and the orange and voices still need to be kept low and soft as no one feels as if they're out of the woods yet. Gerber sings on "Shirley Road Shirley, "I just want to lie down with you/I won't try anything, I swear/You won't even know I'm there," and we feel as if the narrator of this particular story is desperate to just shut himself down for the night or the day, whatever time it happens to be, and hopefully awake to find that all is a little more well. There's a general feeling, as we listen to the Portland group's latest, "Everyday Balloons," that we should be tip-toeing around and we should continue to watch out. They sing that it's not the fall that we should be afraid of, that it's really "the quick stop" that should make us freak out. The thing is that it is the fall that brings out the screams and the anticipation of the horror to come so it's a little harder to know what is actually being feared, or what holds the merit to be feared. The sense that we get, through the characters in A Weather songs, is that it's all of it - the fall and the sudden ending should all be looked at with some form of fear. Gerber and Winchester give us these moments of disconcerting uneasiness, but with pecks on our checks and a wrap of an arm around our back, half-circling our midsection - a lean with a sweet-smelling head of hair to our shoulder muscle - and a lovely piece of humanity. They sing in "Spiders, Snakes," "The best is the smoke thrown back through the flue/Like birds returning to a tree where their old nest used to be" and we believe that a return to home, a recapturing of that former flame, of being safe again in a meaningful place is enough to keep the rattling and unraveling to a minimum.