Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The people in Javelina songs are nervous about what they're committing to. They're unsure about the depths that they're plunging to. It's not that they don't want to commit to things, to people, it's just that once that happens, the harnesses and the saddles are thrown on and the doors and windows are partially boarded up to let in less light than they used to. Even if that's not the case - even if the incoming light comes in at the same amount levels and with as much frequency - you couldn't convince them of it. It's standing on the precipice of a weird uncertainty. They're skeptical of intentions, worried that there are too many different pages that everyone's working off of, that contexts are getting scrambled and that everything's held up by toothpicks, ready to collapse at the slightest of shakes or rumbles.
Emma Crane, the New Mexico-based songwriter behind these tales, has a wonderfully wounded way of expressing herself and these characters. It seems that her kind of people aren't fakers and they don't accept platitudes without substance. They're impartial to empty words. She sings, "Don't you tell me I'm good," -- such a comment couldn't be more insincere, her thinking goes. She longs for substance. There needs to be something worthy of her time. She knows her vulnerabilities - of which there appear to be many - and she's careful not to expose them. She knows when and with whom it would be ill-advised to stay up late at night with. Those words could easily come back to haunt, used against her, or she could say what she really means and hear something else that was never meant from the person across from her, or next to her. The later the night gets, the less talking should be done. This is never as clear as it should be. We sense that the conflict is dulled by a feeling of self-preservation that takes place when restricting oneself, or refusing to be sucked into disappointing outcomes along the way. Crane sings on "Where I Fall," "I hate to be in pain/But waking up alone is better than waking up ashamed." This is where the withholding kicks in.