Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Josh Niles at Big Light, Nashville, Tennessee
Sometimes the thing that dooms a pairing or a marriage in that it just wears off. Whatever it was that made those two people feel as if there could be no one else for them just goes away. There's nothing left of what used to be there. They wake up one day and they realize that this is not what they want, this is not who they want. It's all become this sad footprint of what it once was, of what they fell for, of what they bought into. It comes on subtly, with a little warning, but then these people are just struck with it, this dawning and its fizzling light.
On the other side of this is when two people just slip in a sweet familiarity that some people would peg as the most depressing outcome that could ever be imagined, but others would see as the very thing that they were hoping for in a partner. They were hoping for something so sturdy that it wasn't taken for granted, but it could be counted on through the fog, through the sick nights, through the bang-ups, through the long talks and the briefs brushes of intimacy. They were hoping for this one kind of love that would be resilient - almost bulletproof, though never totally idyllic.
Nashville's Shelly Colvin tends to write about this last version of love and worn-in romance, where some unspoken conversations and quiet proximity mean more than most people would ever think they would. In a gem of a song, "Alright Now," she sings about someone just being there and it making all the difference to her. He's there and that's all she really wanted. It could have been a long time since she'd seen him and she might have been going crazy with loneliness, but that's all over now. It's simple and it's beautiful. She sings this sentiment the way you'd sing a lullaby. It's meant to exist in the background, patient and almost demure. It's as if she's kept it all for herself, even while singing it for others to hear. It's a striking display of love when it's done right, however temporary even the good runs can feel on the darkest of days.