Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The Other Lives are cardiovascular. The Stillwater, Oklahomans are as good as a 10-mile run is for the old ticker. They're as good as any other reasonable method of strengthening that pump that takes up a good amount of space on the south side of the ribcage. It enlarges the resilient, damned thing so much so that the trustworthy organ starts to pulse against those thin bones and you can feel it everywhere else in your body - exactly what they've done in terms of growth, for you as well as the many others that they've put themselves in contact with. Jesse Tabish doesn't seem to have any trouble in getting compelled to delve into a story or a situation that involves painful remembrance or dramatic consequences, coating the swirling thoughts in the kind of open plain country-folk ringing and rustling that makes any man, woman or child feel what it might mean to be lonesome and forgotten. And that may not be the intention. Likely, these are songs that are meant to buoy a soul and that's there, but Tabish and the young group do a job on making the actual story and the various points of interest feel as if they're so personal that we shouldn't take our eyes or ears off of them for we're their protectors and are responsible for any of their aches and tears. It alone is enough to make a person come into closer contact with the weight of the sadness that he writes into his lyrics, which tend to veer through very personal episodes as well as mingling them with other stimulations brought in through other means less closely held. Without trying to make a person feel isolated with their own rambling troubles and their own significant glooms and terrors - those meaningful matters of restless nights - Other Lives has the ability to blow the top of your head out, allowing all of these somber spirits crawl on in and get their vagrancy on, bringing their neediness and their misfortunes straight to your temples. In letting these various sorts in, the capacity for pulling from these stories the great depths of intimacy and the great darkness of impact increases and suddenly we're all there with the one Tabish is singing about - from the late friend in "It Was The Night" (singing, "You were so gone when we found you/It was the hour you had come back/You were so gone/And all of the reasons we're not meant to know/Let the wind sweep over you/And hear the sound that's calling you to come..back.") to the other odd folks who just happen to make an impression on the writer, preying on his affinity for devastatingly harsh light and uncomfortable, but gorgeous heaviness. Other Lives fill their songs with some shimmering abandonment, the issues of lives changing and lives getting cold and barren before someone's very eyes. Without needing to hightail it for the hills, drifting out into the middle of nowhere, we're left hijacked and completely immobile in our cranium, thinking about those outside and around us as flittering fascinations - those who could love us, hurt us, miss us, ignore us, stun us, worry us or embrace us. It's just always confusing where they'll take us - to which destination - and this is a place that's most unbearably absolute for Tabish and Other Lives.