Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The men who are suffering throughout Marcus Foster's beautiful folk songs are continually at odds with self-assurance and complete chaos, or a mind that is like a fishbowl, filled with plastic treasure chests, fake pirates, colorful pebbles and big-eyed goldfish floating around. These guys have knocked themselves out, smacked themselves silly, trying to make sense of love for so long that they're just about through with the venture. They've found that the more they think they know, the less that it works in practice and it could just mean that knowing less would suit them better and the aggravation would lessen as much as would be possible. They can't just swear it off because they're lovers and they're likely, mostly good at the mystical thing. They fight with themselves about the merit of distance and of seeing if it does actually make the heart grow fonder. They feel that those who came before them and tried such a thing must have known something - especially if it was repeated so many times and made it into so many hardbound and paperback books.
So far, it hasn't worked for them and they prefer secure possession of the feeling that they get from the one that they're with. They prefer holding onto them. They don't need to know what it's like to feel them missing from their arms, as per the song, "I Don't Need To Lose You To Know," one that makes it very clear how quickly one can be reduced to a mumbler, a blithering man at a loss, a blathering man "without a hand to hold."
"Won't Let Love Get In The Way" is a song in which Foster sings about laying your best hand on the ground and step over the broken pieces of everything else that are scattered there. It's a song that seems to be a close examination of the wreckage of a relationship and it's an understanding that too much faith was put in the sanctity of love, too much trust was put in something or someone staying pure. It's a note to the self to try not to get oneself into the same kind of mess again, no matter how many times the culprit demurs that you made the right decision to keep the door locked and the blinds shut to protect yourself. It's finally deciding that you've been sleeping with fool's gold and Foster sings, "It's hard enough for me to get you to stay/So this time I won't let love get in the way…./Open up that bottle of old champagne/I know you don't like it/But I'll drink it anyway." It's a tidy finale to a story that everyone knows will have no ending.