Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
It's right to be led by two things: the heart and the road. Everything else is foolishness. The head is awfully misleading. The heart makes tons of mistakes, but even then, who can argue with the reasoning. The soul and the spirit can collaborate with the heart on some thrilling possibilities that -- with good results or bad ones -- should be held high, with esteem and pride. We travel through most of our lives hustling for that golden feeling, for everything to click into place, and hard as we try, it sometimes feels like everything's against us. It's the whole Sisyphus thing going on, only with a whole lot of self-destruction to make the impossible push and climb feel five times as dramatic and untenable.
South Carolina band Needtobreathe, led by lead singer Bear Rinehart, takes us down these various rivers and into the many existential floods that people bring on and do to themselves. We can't help but bury ourselves. We just can't help ourselves.
Rinehart sings, "No matter how far, how heavy this load, it never lets go," and it's one of those resounding lines that flows through all of these stories. They are about hardships and struggles, but they are the ones that we can all recognize. We have worn some of them in the past. They've brushed against us and some have even pitched tents. We touch them and they feel warm the way our skin feels warm. We shiver at how warm they feel, but we take stock in the notion that we live through everything until we don't anymore.