Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The ways of the Modern Skirts are the ways that we're used to. They are the ways that we get by. They are leisure and they are nuanced. They are anchored with substantial details and abbreviations that only we're privy to. They move along as if they were chronicling one of those weekends that you're stumped by come Monday morning when everyone at the office asks you what you did/how it was/etc. etc., only half-hoping that you'll give them a summery of all that you did or accomplished, while praying that you're just going to say, "It was fine." Luckily, what they get here is a perplexed look, an, "It was fine," and yet what was closer to the truth, what's held back, are all sorts of specifics that could fill pages, even if no one wanted to read them. They are anecdotes and stories that are filled with character and importance. They are aimed at filling out the kind of memoir that James Frey has written, one with poetic license and embellishment, while still predominantly rooted in reality. These are tweaked observations that matter, even if they're stretches. There's enough honesty and enough strange and personal aspects within these verses that there's no disputing to whom these songs belong.
The band from Athens, Georgia, leads us to believe that everything that happens to us, or everything/everyone that we happen to is equally important. It all has similar relevance, if framed just right. The DUI that they sing about, the one that they woke up a father to explain - the ordeal that leads the question to be asked if they know a man of the cloth to help them clear their sullied name and soul - is pertinent, but the real reason might not be known until years down the road. Parties end and lights are cut and both offer dynamics that should be and are recorded here, with these songs that take on some tendencies of the late, great Dismemberment Plan, though of a more sugary persuasion. The Skirts sing, "I wanna live by the ocean and I wanna have a lotta offspring/Swim to the island of plenty/Get a tan and not worry about a goddamn thing," on this session and it might be on that island where the reflection would begin.