Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
Leo Maymind is at his finest when he's sorrowful, but still feigning optimism as his musical alter ego Spanish Prisoners. The repetition of life delivers a strangling or two every once in a while, just turning whomever's closest purple and red from the disconnection of air, but Maymind tries to find the little glimpses to be excited about in the mix of all the unpleasantries, when the backs are against the wall and everything's shown in the pall of overcast skies. In "Song For The Weary," on an album entitled Songs To Forget, the Spanish Prisoners sound takes us through a process that is the equivalent of an apple starting as a small round nugget dangling from a wooden umbilical cord, growing into a greened teenager of sorts before filling into its body and rounding into a red orb of juices and waxy skin. At this point, the apple, no longer a tart and unwanted item, is desired by everyone who spots it. The birds and the animals want it to fall to the earth, drooling upward at the possibility. But the bugs and worms don't wait that long. They climb across those high-wired limbs, wriggle down the tight umbilical cord and burrow into that apple's flesh, eating away until they're bloated. The bugs and worms get what they want - a kind of drunkenness that comes from a feast taken beyond what's necessary. The apple has done its job, or at least one of them. The rotting core falls to ground and the seeds find their way into the soil and so begin another tree or two, if they're not yanked or cut before they've had a chance to become something. These trees full of apples will be looked upon with anticipation and admiration when they begin to produce their own fruit and so again the insects will attack and never let the cycle come to a stalling. It will go on and go on, just as the man goes on in Maymind's song, first as the flower that's being approached by the metaphoric woman (the bee), who also seems to have a thing for playing the age-old love game of pulling the petals from a virile flower's head with the alternating statements of "he loves me" and "he loves me not." This man continues on as a different incarnation, becoming a thorn bush and as one, he's less attractive and painfully covered. This all passes though, as Maymind delivers the lines with a voice that sounds as if it's gazing, as if it's made out of eyes that are big and wet and longing for a spring morning that it will have to wait a decently long time for. He gives a soft temper to his songs and at the end of this particular song, filled with sad posts and little real drama, he sings about soon becoming a garden - filled with various fruits and vegetables - and what comes after that but the flower again and then there are more bees to be dealt with and that's kind of the point.
Spanish Prisoners Official Site