Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The breath comes easily out of Gustav Haggren. It's been spinning inside of him for the longest time, aging and determining when it was the right time to slip between the teeth and out into the brightness. It comes out, with words attached to it, blinking but still steady on its feet, knowing what it's doing, mostly. They are words and it is air that doesn't seem like it should have much confidence whatsoever. It all should be starting from a bit of a crisis, a place that's nice enough, but quite a bit lonelier than one ever thought it could get and all of it is adding up to something severe and difficult to pass. Haggren, the lead singer for the Barcelona, Spain-based folk group, is a writer who creates a persona of a wounded man who has been hurting so long that there's no telling how any of it started any more. It's just there. The pain is a resident. It's got its towel on a rack in the bathroom and it lets the dishes pile up in the sink, though Haggren doesn't speak up much.
It turns out that this pain and worry that he might not have wanted anything to do with when it first arrived, is actually a wonderful muse, and everyone knows that there should be no fucking with a muse because even when you don't want one, you know that you need one. He sounds like a guy who has been happily alone with his thoughts at mealtimes, when taking in sustenance and communing with the body is all there is to think about, if the television set's not on. He's sitting there, thinking about where that food's going and what the energies from it are going to make his legs and hands do next. He's considering what dreadfully sad things are going to start rummaging around in his head and his walls.
He speaks them in slight whispers in his songs, giving them over like one would the cards at the end of a hand, a set of losing cards, but being eagerly pushed back to the deck to be reshuffled for another shot at it. He sounds as if he's alone, but he's never been, haunting by so much of what he's already been through and can't help to let go. He sings about trains and riverboats, these modes of getaway, but they seem to be ruses for him, unable to get him anywhere further from his memories. He's a man who is never alone and a man who always recognizes when he's talking to loud. He likes to let things sleep, when they need it. It just means that they'll be around for longer and he knows that he needs them to be. When they become the distance, it's when he crashes.