Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The music of Deerpeople has all of the makings of a rebuilding project. It has all of the makings of a society that's been smeared, that's been altered, that's been burned to the ground and given some time to where there are now little green heads of living things poking through the topsoil. The Stillwater, Oklahoma, band has taken us into this world where the beauties of yesteryear are going to work their ways back into being beauties again. Just when you think everything's gone completely to shit, you're forcibly reminded about all of the good that won't stay that way.
There is a piece in the newest issue of Vanity Fair about the glut of John F. Kennedy books coming out this fall, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dallas. There is a line in it about how there was a whole generation of boys and girls, who were children at the time of his short-lived presidency who - during the Cuban Missile Crisis - who genuinely believed that they were doomed never to grow up, that the world was going to be annihilated by nuclear weapons. They had legitimate fears that they were going to be wiped out before they could ever have children of their own, before they could ever play high school football even. I suppose there's that threat out there for all of us regarding global warming, but somehow it feels less urgent - even if it's not, even if we should be petrified that our grandchildren are just going to get boiled alive in the enveloping swallow of the ocean's waters.
Deerpeople songs bring to mind how glorious and still how terrifying life truly is. They sing about people being torn apart, being hunted by "imitation animals" - creatures that give me the willies without even knowing what they are - and passive thoughts of destruction. This is dancing in the streets to the aloof yellow of the streetlights and the broken reds and blues of police sirens, letting our skin and bones get a little more partying in before being led to the very end. We can go out with a lovely glow we never thought we'd possess in all of our days.