Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Time takes on a beautifully long-winded nature, in the hands of Australian songwriter Darren Hanlon. It feels bottomless and finite, all at once, as you return again and again to the rumbling in the head that forces us to confront our lapses in attentiveness to the roaming and the conquering that we're doing with our days. Many of us have failed as completists - as those who are able to take it all in, get it all down and then feel it. We are fallen chroniclers, but Hanlon is keen to everything. He's aware of the cat over in the corner, on its back, cleaning its head with its paw. He knows that his constant drifting - even if it feels like it's in circles - means something.
It's all worth doing and it's in doing it that some clarity pulls itself from out of the ether. It's never going to jump out at him, but it's going to form a hushed, maybe even abbreviated message, that he can do something with or pass right by. He's in touch with most of the things that make him tick, but there are numerous important pulses and thrusts that take him over that he can't account for.
It's basically what forces the hitchhiking him to get into the beaten up old Mercedes in Wales, willing to pay for his ride if, at the end of it, he helps the old man deliver some geese to his farm. Even if he didn't cop to his insomnia, you'd suspect him of it. You'd believe him to be something like one of the nuns in Portis' novel "The Dog of the South," who claims to have not slept in three years because she can sense and feel too much. She spends her nights sitting in a dim room drinking coffee and reading all the books that she's sure she'll never get through, knowing not to anticipate sleep to ever find her.
In many ways, he's that over-feeler, that vacuum that keeps inhaling. He brings more and more in - putting himself into situations that will encourage surprises and trigger new sensations - and then composes his responses to it all, giving us songs that want for nothing and need no closure for themselves. They're fine as is and he feels the same, though altered, after all this.