Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The image that I can't get away from, when listening to Hey Rosetta! songs is one where people are trapped and they're unaware. It doesn't make the situation any less terrifying, but it's not terrifying. It's that ignorance is bliss kicking in that makes everything alright - temporarily, or as long as they don't open the blinds and look outdoors. The people, as I imagine them, are inside a home, something not completely rural, but mostly so. More rural than otherwise, only because it allows for the possibility that they don't have to run off to the grocery store every two days to pick up things to eat. They might be able to collect their own eggs, bring in their own milk from the cows in the pasture and they might have a freezer full of butchered meat. They could bake their own bread and they might be able to go for weeks without needing to leave, or to slip away for any necessities. These limited needs allow for my image to grow. It's two people who have posted themselves in this house, with nearly everything they need and little do they know, they're being targeted on all sides by big cats, coyotes, wolves, foxes, wolverines, feral dogs, anything that hunts and has a taste for red meat.
These animals sniffed them out and they're nearing ever so slightly, crawling on their bellies, inch-by-inch and these people have no idea it's happening. They aren't going to be able to go anywhere. They're going to have to live with one another until the animals decide that they're going to go elsewhere for their prey, their dinner. These people are going to be forced to deal with each other.
They're going to have to listen to each other. They're there with sharpened teeth, with shaking hands, with reddened faces, with veins bulging out of their necks and temples, with what they think might be enough respect and love to overcome anything. It's just that they're not sure yet. They've never been in such a bind. They've never had nothing but their love to live on. Other things have always helped a little.
Lead singer Tim Baker offers these crooked truths and crippling doubts in a way that sounds like a slow-rolling storm that you secretly want to syringe into your arm and have it go through your body, cooling everything down by twenty degrees, ripping limbs off of trees, cracking ribs and whipping everything around a little bit. They've got things to overcome, but there's a feeling that they'll somehow overcome it and they'll get out of that house and past those animals to get back to the grocery store, to continue living.
*Essay originally published October, 2012