Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The scenery in most Stagnant Pools songs speaks to their whereabouts. It's one of these late October, early November days that could be spent driving a stretch of interstate that we're all too familiar with here. It could be the span of pavement between here and Galesburg, Illinois, then right on to Peoria, Illinois, then further down I-74 to Bloomington, Illinois, then further down to Champaign and right on into Indianapolis, Indiana, where Bryan Enas and Doug Enas live.
You could go in the opposite direction, blast right through Indianapolis and on through the state, out of the state, swinging lazily through the mellowest and least talkative parts of the heartland. Making this drive when the cornfields are in various states of mutilation, when the sun's already long gone by the time dinner hour, when the deer are trying to get fat and hoping that they avoid getting shot and when the sun is deceptive, shapes the general mood in a way that makes it feel depressing and still absolutely what's expected this time of the year. It's supposed to be like this. We're supposed to be depressed this time of year. The cruel reality of losing nearly six hours of daylight on average per day - from the peak days during the middle of the summer - is setting in.
Stagnant Pools music feels obsessed with those sentiments of nothing much to look at, flying past us on the other side of the windows. It's when the feeling is just to get where you're going and to get there as quickly as possible. When we're talking about these stretches of road, during these crisp, pretty but sad days, you'd like to think that the highway patrolmen would respect that need and just turn the other cheek and let the speed limits slide. The Enas brothers take us into these settings where everything has a matte finish, where there's no reflection, where there are only sad eyes looking out. This is when the fire is burning down, when the party food is all gone except for the crumbs and everyone's bound to be leaving soon, if they're not passed out in the other room. This is when you ask, "Wait, how did this happen?" not surprised that it did. You're just looking for some clarity. You might never get it.
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