Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley
Passage of time, of the gently unstoppable gravitation toward the next season in line, will always be sticky. It will always represent the pulling apart of a q-tip of cotton candy or caramel bun, the tendrils of fluffy pink or stringy sugar forming a chain between what was and what's just beginning. There's always backseat driving, there's always resignation and there's always holding onto something that, according to all natural laws, cannot remain. One minute has to become the next minute, the same goes for days and months and years. Forget about them, but remember them. They're already gone, but are they? Those synapses - where the cold coldness of winter connects its lunging, caramel fingertips to the sprouting, springing tulip and maple tree budded spring - is the homey-ness that the cinnamon-scented Bloomington, Indiana, band Early Day Miners cling to.
They wrap around it like a scarf, spun tight and comfy around the connection as if it were exposed neck meat. There remains an overlapping of ideas, which are molded and emboldened by the various quarters of the year in which they appear. They are of the specific hot continental climate like the one that covers the Midwestern portion of the United States that the band calls its home. While the Duluth, Minnesota, that Low and Alan Sparhawk inhabit, is even more dynamic in its seasonal separation points - with the winters considerably more abrasive and uncooperative - there's little surprise that the Miners, from a number of hours further south and east, are able to pop the cork on the same sort of songs of hibernation.
The kind of transformative process that Daniel Burton, Jonathan Richardson, Duan Fields, John Dawson and Marty Sprowles send those messages of foreshortened progression takes on a bent of exceedingly higher levels of motion and testiness, remaining still a steaming locomotive, coursing across a flat track that doesn't bump or sway or bray like a wild horse. It's a controlled build-up that works just as much as a surefire and accomplishes the same kind of understanding of tediousness as it applies to a clattering barrel of jittering fish that can't stay still for a second. It takes a lot to move from one season to the next. A complete set change is needed, where the stock atmospheric painting of a winter wonderland is exchanged for the scene of new sunshine, bluer skies and birdies that one instinctively associates with springtime.
From one angle, Early Day Miners play themselves out of breath with their chugging efforts, covering acres of burning ground and leaving it burning just as hotly after they've passed over it. They have five firing squads shooting paint balls, leaving different hues and impressions and which could never kill a person unless used with extravagant negligence, but they could leave some nasty bruising if you weren't careful. It's a good recreational pace, ideal for someone concerned with excessive starch and complex carbohydrate intake as well as the need to maximize their daily cardiovascular workouts. It's for the heart rate and yet the Miners try to not make its listeners double over or double back, clutching their chests from the heaviness of the effort. Good sweats are broken like promises and eggs, while they can remain sitting there, crossed legged and sipping timidly at a flavored coffee and commenting knowingly about the affects that the storm rolling in from the west has been having on their joints. The weather changing from tolerable and life-sustaining to putridly humid as the summer sets in is emblematic of the pulse of Early Day Miners - the wispy teaming of Burton and Fields' vocals into a blanket slapping on a clothesline no matter what the time of year and the jamboree hum of the static propulsion provided by Richardson, Dawson and Sprowles. It's the case of being at the height where the windmills work, the point where the air is always blowing hard enough and yet not too violently to turn the hands, communicating a functioning chain of air. It's always on your face and depending on its mood, can be scalding, frigid or refreshing. It's them, it's the Miners, you'll murmur as your hair takes its many tumbles.
*Notes from the Early Day Miners:*
Our Daytrotter Session happened at an opportune time for the band. EDM was in the midst of recording a new album (which we're currently putting the finishing touches on) and after some discussion, we chose to perform all unreleased, new songs. I think it was a good choice, a snapshot of a band smack dab in the middle of writing, arranging and making constant changes to the music. Some of the songs recorded here have already evolved and changed and gone on to become something else entirely. Upon listening back, I think it's really exciting to hear where we were just a few months ago. The recordings exude a band which is giddy and excited about new pedals, keyboards and fresh sounds.
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