Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
The classic narrative about finding that certain someone and growing old together with them is the trickiest son of a bitch to figure out. It's a cold dish most of the time. It tastes like leather and it's a bit gamey. It's nothing at all savory, but you've got to keep digging in, oftentimes blindfolded. Even when you see what you're taking in, it usually makes little difference. Many things look like they could be good. You open the hatch and the second it hits the tongue is when you know that it's not for you. What tends to happen is that you might as well be testing the dish at a dinner party at a fancy joint - the kind where you can't just wad your gum up in a discarded drinking straw wrapper and leave it by the ketchup and mustard bottles. You can't just spit it out. It becomes an ordeal where you have to find the right time and place to rake the disgusting and chewed substance and taste onto an inconspicuous napkin and throw it into a coat pocket. This person and whatever they might be offering for love is not what you've been looking for.
UK singer Paloma Faith writes and sings these pained, but soulful explorations of what the search for good love entails. It's the frustrations and the hopefulness of it all - even when faced with too much evidence to the contrary. She tells us that it's even harder than we think it is to find that right combination of traits that will ultimately end the search and allow us to finally be happy, or get as happy as we're ever going to get. Everyone in Paloma Faith songs is picking up the pieces of the relationship that happened right before this new one. She explains that you just have to step over the pieces and bits that are still lying on the ground. Sure they're there and it would be easy to just get the broom and dustpan out one more time, but they'll be cleaned up when they get cleaned up. The glass, those pieces, become the little elephants in the room, taking a nap and moving at their own pace when they're awake. Paloma Faith makes us understand that the emotions we feel when we're striking out - when we're just growing older by the minute, without much to show for it - are still hot embers, even when they're in the process of dying out.