Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
There's a commonly held belief that nothing good happens after midnight. What's odd is that I've heard a few older men and women recall that line of reasoning in the last few weeks, as they've told their mundane and run-of-the-mill stories that go nowhere and hinge only on predictable points of interest - either on television or in-person - and it seems that when they say it, we couldn't disagree more. These old people have got it all wrong. Those are the hours - at least a handful of them - that are absolutely necessary in the lives of people of a certain age, people who are still rambling about, attempting to get a little piece of something for themselves, to get out of the woods that have been growing up all around them, that have been pinning them in with the pines and the droppings.
This one particular night that Moonlight Bride takes us into on the song "Marlon" would be of note to those naysaying old folks, tsk tsking a car wreck or a baby out of wedlock, that there are aspirations still out there roaming the darkened skies at those hours, past which the clocks chime a little softer, as not to wake the bakers and the assembly line workers who have been asleep for hours already.
Justin Giles, the lead singer from this band of billowy noise-makers from Chattanooga, Tennessee, sings something of a weird Hollywood reference, when he offers, "I wanna be like Marlon Brando's kid/I wanna do the shit he never did," but we can take it as a garden variety desire to not just rot on a couch. We hear about a girl who's being beaten by the night, rubbed out by it, but who's being promised that they'll find her wings and her keys and that they'll get her home before she falls asleep. It's people taking care of other people - those stumbling more than others, those without the power to go on. Giles sings, "It doesn't matter if you stay out all night," as if reminding us that there are no real rules, none that weren't made arbitrarily by the crooked fingers and the beaten brows.