Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Most people, if given the choice, would choose nonchalance. They would choose indifference over the need to throttle it up and having to be nervous and anxious all the time, about everything they can or can't control. We're not talking a checking-out-of-the-world-and-giving-up sort of indifference, but more like something along the lines of a worry-free kind of existence, something that could be actively enjoyed and participated in, but which is almost peripheral when it came to the most rugged, exhausting and unappealing aspects of it. The problem lies in the impossibility of such an arrangement. There's no getting around the stress. The chillest dude or the most rational and clear-headed lady in the world cannot get the stress separated from this thing completely. There are shared properties that seemingly need one another. There are footprints and hangnails.
The music of the Bloomington, Indiana, band Memory Map is a little bit like the enduring marathon of that struggle - of the desire to let everything unfold the way it will and to play everything, then, where it lies and still holding onto an unshakable feeling of entitlement to a foot wedge and propping the ball up a little bit, so that it sits on top of the grass for easy striking, believing that there's nothing wrong with wanting and/or just doing that. Their songs come a bit in the vein of Tim Kasher's various works with Cursive and elsewhere, showing a desperate nature sometimes and others showing a side that seems to resemble something tamer, something more happily resigned. There are the bothersome moments of irritability, of wakefulness and concern when all that you want to have happen is for your eyes to shut and to sleep just a few precious hours, even when your mind is racing like an asshole, thinking about everything that cannot be solved at that hour.
Lead singer Michael Dixon sings, "The feeling of suspense isn't unnatural," and then later, helping reminds us that "you can't jump ship 'til the ship is gone." The former makes us think that we're foolish for getting worked up, for caring too much about what happens next, if it's so hard to predict, and the latter makes us consider just how long we all have to go, if we're lucky. We're unable to give up or give in, until there is literally nothing else that can be done. And that brings us right back into our nonchalance. We'll just see where it takes us.