Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
The mystery that surrounds us most of the time gets overlooked, but it crops up when you're feeling the most vulnerable. You're in an airplane and you have no control over whether or not you're going to get where you're headed safely. You think that at any second the engine will die, a wing will crack off or you'll collide with another plane and be gone on impact. Or it's when you're looking at your children - if you have any - and you start to think about all of the most minute pieces of circumstance that had to happen for them even to exist, for them to be writing on your ottoman with a permanent marker when your back was turned. You can trace any of these thoughts back to the impossible question of existence and why is any of this happening or not happening out here in this damned place. What on earth propels or spurs any of this other than dumb, dumb luck and a bunch of cells splitting uncontrollably. You do start to think about all of the time wasted, as the volume could really get to you, but then you consider the time that couldn't have been more worthwhile and you're willing to forget and forgive the former you that lived the past, for you didn't know any better.
Denver, Colorado, band Dovekins writes intricate ballads about those times of topsy-turvy interpretation, where the wastefulness might be seen as the exact opposite some day. It's as if, in anything, there's a side that's unseen until it means to be known, while the inertia and the resistance stack up and our lives begin to look at us cockeyed, like a stubborn mule that's not going anywhere, anytime soon. They sing, "And all this time spent hanging around/You know it's gravity that's holding me down," on "Clocktower," as if there's a big, wide eye locked on the hands of a clock, motioning with its twitches and its thin, bloody tributaries that something needs to start, something needs to change. Or, we could just remain because it's all we know and it's all we are. The music comes across as a rousting, as a roast and as an ode, to the unknown and to the visible and the visibly shaken and stirred. There are creamed vocals and cooed vocals, along with the kinds of thoughts that make us think about how nice it would be to e thoughtless. "To be the voice that's coming through me/We all like to plant, like to plant all our seeds/We're just songbirds singing/Singing in the trees/Laughing by, laughing by the riverweeds," goes the new song "Riverweeds," and there, amongst those weeds is where we'll do most of our contemplation.