Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
A lot of the video for the Acrylics' song "Molly's Vertigo" seems to be done in a mocking tone - calling up the mom dresses of the late 70s and early 80s - what everyone was wearing as they stepped from their station wagons for church service or weddings, with kids in-tow. Some of it is bringing to mind low-budget production and a need to be as cool as possible, as serious as possible, all the while portraying some sort of act. There's deadpan lip-synching to the disco-y vibe of a remorseful song, along with the profiled camera shots of lip close-ups. There are gobs of the most popular office ferns of the last four decades and singer Molly Shea decked out in all kinds of baubles and gaudy fake jewelry to create a backlit and fuzzy picture of Elizabeth Taylor and her big hair ways, when she was promoting her new fragrance. Guitarist Jason Klauber solemnly plays his guitar, perched on a barstool as the camera revolves around the room. It's an ode to an older time of not all that long ago, but the song is as rooted in present day thinking as anything else you'll hear. "Molly's Vertigo," takes on more of a ranch, western feel on this tempered down version, making it sound deliciously more desperate and sad, with Shea singing, "I'm walking a strange line/Just say that you're all mine/Just say you're mine/Just say you're mine." It seems versatile and malleable, able to suit any need presented to it - not just to get hips moving. It goes hand-in-hand with the pedal steel that accompanies it on this recording, flipping the feeling on its head as we hear the spell being cast driven straight into our pleasure centers - the ones that appreciate a good pull of tears and a good reason to drink the night away. It's a song about walking the streets in a stupor and vowing that you'll wait for someone forever - or so you think that's what you'll be doing. The characters that Shea and Klauber create on the songs on the trio's debut EP, recorded by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor as the first release on his newly formed label, Terrible Records, and on the two new songs recorded for the first time here, are always threatened by love, tempted by it, but they're never scared of it, but rather the opposite. These people have their big eyes in, their big hearts plugged in as well, ready to be racked by the pain and clobbered by the possible euphoria that could come with the right combination of circumstances and the right mixture of people. These circumstances all seem to involve a feared backfiring or no firing at all. Most of the loves that we're having set to us have not had time to dry or form yet. They are hypothetical and sort of dreamlike and this makes a mention like the one Klauber makes in "Counting Sheep" - a song that also involves a mention of someone just sleeping through the memory of a favorite dog being sent to the pound - where he sings about "embalming you in glow" and earlier singing, "You're here lying next to me and a melody surrounds you, encasing you in sound/You're here lying fast asleep while the sky that hangs above you has been shaken to the ground," feel nostalgic. It feels like something we've thought before, but most certainly felt, even if we had no way of expressing it. It's like we're taken back to some of those rough love times, when nothing much made sense, but it was kind of great thinking about how it didn't make a ton of sense.
Acrylics Official Site