Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The kind of week that we've all been having (this will be a few weeks after the fact, by the time you read this, but who fucking knows at this point, all of this could still be lingering around) across the United States has been hard to stomach. These searing temperatures, these days that are made out of pure fire are just too much. It really feels like someone is trying to cook us. If we could just keep zooming out on ourselves, as if we were living within an actual Google map, we might see that beneath us is a layer of kindling and chopped wood being worked on, raging and raging. Well, for those of us here at least, last night was one of those nights that we needed, even if it was a lost cause. The lawns here have all been burnt to a crisp, nasty brownish and yellow now in patches, crunchy and dry, as if they were ready to be baled and fed to cattle. Those lawns won't take any nourishment, no matter how aggressive or abundant. They will be green again in a year. But the banging and throbbing thunderstorms that sprang out of nowhere and brought with them a night of intermittent downpours was the kind of respite and broken monotony from one hundred degree temperatures and unhealthy humidity that we've been experiencing for over 10 days. God, it felt good, those fat ass droplets of water. We went out in it and let it crash down on us. We walk out in it barefoot and felt what it was like to have the complexity of the environment change instantaneously with a front and a storm system. It felt like something mysterious and magical. Now, we're not entirely sure how in the hell Matt The Electrician, or Matt Sever, has been taking the unprecedented string of 100-degree days down there in Austin, Texas. We aren't sure how anyone deals with that soul-crushing shit, but I thought of him last night during that rain, during the temporary vacation from the oppressive heat. I thought about how his music - the songs from his latest album, "Accidental Thief," especially - feel as if they were all written within those fleeting hours when something breaking free, even just for a bit. They feel as if they're OF these benevolent and charitable cold fronts that build up and travel through areas just when the people are almost lost, when their arms are sticking to their sides, their legs are sticking to their legs and they're ready to take a long walk off a short pier. The storms, like the one that came through last night, are the makings of parts that we hate - only here because of the dangerous heat and humidity - and then out comes a kick and a scream and cold, cold water, just for a sip, for a spell, before the sun and the flames are back. Matt The Electrician plays with those elements as well, seeing what he can get out of those fires and those cooked up emotions, always delivering these sorts of drenching and needed soliloquies that keep us believing in the goodness of spirits, that we haven't lost it all just yet, that we just might pull through.