Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley at Futureappletree Too
For some, the Holy Spirit and its accompanying spirits are foremost the sleeping hum that we hear when everything else has shut down and silence has reclined between our ears, allowing for a brief respite from the din. It's almost inconsiderate to consider this as a good or bad thing, but it's only with time that you can come to a place where it's something that you become quite jealous of if it's not already in your possession. To have that discourse with yourself -- as a believer, a reverse interloper or a voyeur -- is something that becomes much less theory and in fact gains more probability, even as the fortunes and misfortunes pile up on both sides of the ledger. For most, all of the bad shit in life can be forgiven, or written off, with the help of belief in God and their Sunday outings to church. Those poor folks with rich spiritual souls believe that all these wrongs will be righted in a different kingdom someday. The people who have it good -- the 7-foot-tall professional basketball player who makes tens of thousands of dollars a minute and was obviously gifted with incredible physical traits -- will thank their lord and savior any chance they get after they win another game. Everyone, if they choose, can have a God on their side. The world that J.E. Sunde (Jon Sunde of the under-appreciated Eau Claire, Wisconsin band The Daredevil Christopher Wright) takes us into with the songs from his spectacular solo debut, "Shapes That Kiss The Lips Of God," is one where religion and the things taken from it, given to it or observed of it are quite a lot more challenging and tougher to catalog. Sunde gives us incredible characters who struggle with the particulars of their beliefs, even when they don't realize that they're doing it. They see the struggles in other people and those struggles make sense to them -- sometimes causing some of their own roots to be torn up a little. They try to place them back in the soil as quickly as possible and water the hell out of what they've done, but they've just got to hope. Sunde's gorgeous folk songs are about hope, if they're about nothing else. They're about giving yourself over to all the diabolical beauty that you can't help but be taken by.
J.E. Sunde Official Site