Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
The first time I met Jennifer Moore, she was behind the counter at a ribs joint in Austin, Texas. She'd just gotten back into town, from being traveling on the road, playing her songs. This was two years now and pre-Deep Time days, but there is still something in that memory of her standing there that slips into my head as I listen to the brilliant direction she's taken Deep Time and these songs that she writes with her multi-instrumentalist bandmate Adam Jones. She looked tired, after what must have been a crushing noon-hour lunch crowd, and her hair flopped very Presley-ish in the front, to the side. She looked just like a person who not only couldn't wait for her shift to end, but someone who couldn't wait to bust out of time once again, to streak down those hard and silent highways to places known for adventures unknown.
These songs here, from the group's debut album on Hardly Art Records, seem to be runaway songs. We're struck with the sense that someone's packed what little they want to keep and take with them into a bag or two and then set fire to the place they lived in, with all of the junk they want to leave behind, as they walk to their car - pulling away from the curb for the last time as the blaze kicks into high gear and gets a little loud and unruly. It happily eats all that was abandoned as the recipient, or the taker, of a new life, a blank slate, rides off, speeding up and slowing down as she goes tiny little, one stoplight towns dots on the map and then back out onto the open road. The acceleration and deceleration could also come from there not being any real comfort in setting off into the wild. It's why someone keeps a job behind the counter of a ribs joint.
With that said, the effect of shuffling one's life up, burying the old, or torching it, and just getting by on the essentials, living lean, can be just the kind of invigoration needed to keep things the perfect amount of scary and exciting. Moore sings, "You got bigger, while I was away," on "Clouds," and it's a notion that something was missed. In this case, it was days, months, years and height. It doesn't mean that anything should have been different or that the time away wasn't worth it. It's just one of those revelations that you put in a pipe and smoke it away, with or without the residue.
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