Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Harris at Futureappletree Too
A man can get himself into trouble if he just sits around and ponders too hard. If what he does is dredge up his past and all the regrets that he limply shook hands with, the spiraling that he can set himself on can be quite staggering. It can get pretty smoky in the room and the bottles can start emptying fairly quickly, getting discarded to the counter by the sink to be taken care of sometime in the morning, when the staleness of the night has burned off. He can wear himself down as he sinks into those places that he's dogeared, those spots where he's left his fingers in the binding. He can still feel the heat coming off of those words, from those hands and out of those eyes that look back upon him. Alejandro Rose-Garcia, who writes and performs music as Shakey Graves, released a brilliant record this year entitled, "And The War Came," which takes us into these deep basins of thought, where you can feel your feet slipping into the drain, all the while feeling like you're just soaking in the tub. That is, until the water starts getting lukewarm and you realize where you've taken yourself and exactly how much time you've used up. Rose-Garcia has a wonderfully gruff, Texas way about his side-winding storytelling. It's sweet and it's dusty and it's full of venom, if needed. It's able to be a gentlemen and he's able to let it shred and shiver when the moment calls for it. He can cook it into the dank light and let it be a drinking companion. Shakey Graves songs seem like responses to loneliness. They seem to kick against those walls that can surround -- the ones that can prove too heavy and constricting on a man's chest. Sometimes love and sadness tighten like that though.