Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Columbia, Missouri, band Believers make us feel okay about just wading out into the lake, walking into the water without knowing the depth, or what lurks beneath the surface. It has convinced us that we're not being put into too much harm's way by doing this. We're not going to be startled by the coldness of the water. It's going to feel about right and the mud squishing between our toes is going to feel cushiony. You can just keep walking, even as it gets up to your belly button, even as it passes your nipples and moves up to your neck. You're really into it thick now. It's here when you can either take it as far as you ever could, or you can turn around, head to the shore, examine your skin to see if you've acquired any leeches and then towel off and put your clothes - which feel a bit grittier - back on your body.
The feeling here - the one conveyed with this layered music and these animalistic vocals - is one of getting untethered. It's one of feeling like there might be some magic there in the depths, if we're just able to let ourselves get down and into them. If we're just able to let go, we can see if it's there, if there's anything to that sensation that seems to be calling us like a storm siren. Believers give us faith in these sensations, as if they might be tangible, as if they could be waiting for us. They convince us that within the cloudy and muddy waters that we might be walking into, there is something special there, something that's likely not going to make itself known for quite some time.
When singer Wesley Powell sings, "The alchemist comes to show us just what we've done," he's trying to remind us that we're sometimes oblivious to what we're making, to what's actually becoming of the work that we're doing, of the progress that it might not feel like we're making at the time. Without really knowing it, that blind faith - if we're willing to follow it - might lead us to spinning gold that we could use the help actually seeing for ourselves.