Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
Learned the other day that Christopher Walken worked as a lion tamer in the circus when he was a teenager. He described the lion as "like a dog" and recalled in an interview with the New York Times Magazine, "When I said she was like a dog, she was - you could pet her, and she would rub her head on you. I would come into the cage and wave my whip, and she'd kind of lazily get up and sit like a dog and maybe give a little roar. Jessica Gross, the interviewer went on to ask the actor why he answered that want ad and he replied, "It just looked too good to pass up. I like cats a lot. I've always liked cats. They're great company. When they eat, they always leave a little bit at the bottom of the bowl. A dog will polish the bowl, but a cat always leaves a little bit. It's like an offering."
It's an interesting piece to hear from Walken, who himself says he leaves a little offering when he eats. He takes his scraps out to his backyard when he's finished dining, for the raccoons, possums, squirrels and hawks to munch on when no one's looking. It could just be that he mentioned possums and I having read it this morning immediately jumped to the anecdote, while listening to and writing about the band Opossom for most of the night, but there's something in the idea of an offering at the end of a meal and even in the image of Christopher Walken's backyard being a minor menagerie of critters getting fat bellies on his dime that struck as at least slightly pertinent.
These undulating and sweet pop nuggets are peculiar offerings to those sunnier than sunny afternoons during which clocks and watches mean zilch. They are offerings to the hypnotic melodicism of British invasion rock and roll and the smooth beauty of the vocoder in the hands of Justin Vernon.
The Opossom songs on the band's debut LP, "Electric Hawaii" are getaway songs - in fact, one even hints as much - in that they entice us in the direction of the forest at night. There's a faint campfire burning far ahead of us, but it feels like it's going to be a wild walk to get there and there's nothing to indicate what we'll find when we arrive. Along the way, there are burnt out harmonies and verses that defy a conventional approach. We're just happy to be away from all the lights and out here when very little makes sense. We'll just keep moving toward the fire and see what's there.
Opossom Official Site