Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Bryce Gonzales at Fivestar Studios, Los Angeles, Calif.
This is where you get sucked into the cave. It's where you can't see anything, though you can hear something moving around inside. You can smell that other people have been there. They may still be there, but there's no way to tell. There's a flickering of orange light up ahead. You don't mean to follow it. You're feeling not quite like yourself at this moment, drawn as if to something oddly magnetic and unexplainable. It's like in old cartoons, when the cat or the dog catches the scent of a bird cooking in an oven and they're suddenly able to float, getting ushered to the scent by their nose.
You get taken under the waters that Jonathan Wilson puts below us. The songwriter and producer creates a vast and deep body of water that isn't really so much cobalt blue as it is black as a pupil - so damned blue and so damned deep that it only appears to be black as sin. It's more like black as temptation though. It calls to you and when he throws you into the water - as he does with the very first track on his brilliant offering, "Gentle Spirit," you're scared at first.
You don't much care for being submerged in something so big and threatening. You think you're going to drown. You question your swimming, or paddling abilities and you're always concerned about what's swimming hungrily down there, below your toes. The feeling of potential drowning quickly goes away and you realize that you're able to survive down there, below the waves and as you're getting closer to the center of the deepest and darkest blackness that the sea holds, you see that flicker of light again, orange and inviting, getting closer as your ears pops and you cut through the stiff, but forgiving water.
There's a raven that Wilson sings about on one of his many barnburners here, that flies across the desert sky. It's a bird that is wiser than any of us are. That bird has hidden its voice in Wilson's trippy and soulful psychedelia.