Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We can't do it any longer. We can't justify the Sunday drives, just getting into cars when the weather's nice, rolling down all the windows and just driving around, often slowly. We don't think it's an old man thing to say, but we miss being able to splurge like that every so often, to just take to the back roads, driving around, wasting gasoline, listening to different ditch birds making noises and feeling the breeze run itself through our rustling head of hair like phantom fingers. We could use this as a way to decompress, to just let things go, because there's nothing like the great outdoors to serve as the ultimate equalizer. It brings you back to a place where you're not thinking only about what you're going to get out of something, but more so what you're place is. It's a small place. It's really nothing too special, but then you consider the importance of all the earthworms and the bees, along with all of the tiniest creatures and you're suddenly thinking that you might serve a purpose too. Nicolaas Zwart, the lead singer for the inactive pacific Northwest band Desolation Wilderness, seems keen on these sorts of thoughts, having written a record like his band's last, "New Universe." It's an album that takes us into the winding hills and seaside stretches of road that too easily get taken for granted. They get passed over, driven, but too infrequently marveled at or truly enjoyed, devoured. It's usually because we're too preoccupied with a billion other things to give ourselves those moments when we can just live for our spaces, to forget about all of the other garbage that cluttering us. It would be best to just take it to these roads and diminish the odds that we'll return home with a victorious windburn slapped across our forehead and cheeks. Zwart is magnificent when he's attempting to make a funeral march feel like a celebration. No matter how bad anything ever gets and no matter how up to our eyebrows we are in our own busy-ness, we at least have the ability to take in golden sun and twilight beauties. We should do it more often, not that I'm telling us anything new, really.