Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The real trouble with men and women - and this is open for discussion, just one man's opinion, ya hear? - is that we're all just full of a bunch of piping hot crap and we allow ourselves to be steered by it too often. We take on our whimsy and let ourselves just float along - loving and not loving, despising and then not despising - all over the place and it just makes a huge smear of everything. The problem is that clear vision - some unifying clarity that we follow from the cradle to the grave is as funny as any thought comes - and so we're left to rely on paper plate feelings that bend and eventually soak through, leaving us with a huge stain and plenty of sour looks. Los Angeles duo honeyhoney, which is made up of vocalist/banjo player/violinist Suzanne Santo and vocalist/guitarist Ben Jaffe, looks at these scenarios and lays them out flat so we can look at all of them. We can identify with the ones that we've been through, that we've instigated and the ones that feel as if they're coming our way, like a twister or some nasty storm system. We spot the similarities in the warning signs and we can finger which ones we're most familiar with or accustomed to.
Many of the songs that Santo and Jaffe performed on this session are filled with people who don't know what to do with their love. Oh sure, they know what to do with their love when there's nothing too terribly wrong with it - when everyone's fine with how it's shaping up - but there are no guidelines for where anything falls when the implosions start popping off and when the wheels come off the bus, when the ship has sprung an un-patchable leak and the deck is tilting tragically to the bottom of the ocean. Maybe it's not necessarily right to think that these people don't know what to do with their love, but they certainly are seeing it take the kinds of twists and turns that they're not prepared for. "Don't Know How" seems to be a song that laments how someone's going to deal with their love as death disrupts it. It's a song that is sung by someone who will soon be unable to kiss and to hold her love. It will be over, but does that go for the actual feeling of love and the sentiment attached to it too? Will it all just disappear? Santo sings, "There's no turning back from my grave in the ground/I don't know how to love you when I'm not around," and it seems to be concluded that there's nothing that can be done there. It's run its course, but there's still a part of the dying wife or lover that wants to hold onto that love that once was even into the ground.
"Angel of Death" is more along the lines of the ways that we take love to psychotically, believing it to be healthy and right, but if anyone were to overhear you thinking about it, they'd freak out and run as far away as possible. Santo sings, "I'm floating on the wind/Until I find you/I bury myself deep inside your heart/You won't feel a change/We'll just become the same thing/And never spend a single day apart," and everything sounds fine, until the second verse, when she recounts how many men have come before this, whom she's treated the same way. The selfish feelings of love and submersion don't feel so good any longer. They feel horrible and like they should be avoided at all costs. But, if they aren't, at least one person will be relatively happy, taking the love that they want.