Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Some days and nights are only so big. There are limits on what they can be and what they can do. This reflects upon the people moving through those days and nights, as well. They either live up to the immensity or they shrivel up and slink around the corner. When the days are able to tower, when they can look down on you, it's when the words coming out of your mouth and the emotion thumping from your chest has to try and overcome that. It needs to be bellowed. It needs to roar. You need to look at that puny little fire that you put together with some twigs and newspaper and recognize that it just won't do. It will be an embarrassment in the grand scheme of things. It needs to be significantly bigger. It needs to force everyone back 20 or 30 yards or risk burning off all of your skin and losing all of your hair.
This is the kind of fire that the Chicago band Empires would summon up in every possible instance. They'd want it to burn hotter and brighter and they'd want it so raging that it would be ably seen from outer space. They'd want the universe to know that they were down here and that they were intent on raising as much of a fuss as they could during their short duration. The kind of fuss that we mean - or they mean - is more civil than it sounds. It takes on something of a chivalrous bent than anything. They narrators in their songs sound as if they're meant to be protectors. They are to be the safe zone from all of the big-badness that's out there, roaming around, with sketchy eyes and long nails. They are there to be the breath of fresh air, when it feels like someone can do no right or they feel that everything's just caving down upon them.
Sean Van Vleet emotes in a similar way to the style of Brandon Flowers of The Killers, giving us the chance to be as caught up in these very personal moments that those involved are going through - making them all seem like they're happening to us as well. We're caught up in the passionate trails that they leave, streaking across the sky. Most of the songs have to do with love in its wildest, most hungry state. There are rash decision and choices that need to happen or else it can all disintegrate and much of what Van Vleet puts in his delivery is that of a caring, red-faced messenger, just wanting to find someone who will hold him right back. He sings, "I will guard you in the night," and you believe that there's nothing he would rather be doing. He wants to turn homebody, if some good, sweet one will just let him.