Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The lemon of pink is a phrase that The Books brought new to me and it's one that only makes any sense when we're listening to the group's glistening art. The songs that Paul de Jong and Nich Zammuto pin together are not so much pieces of music as they are pieces of weather, bits of sails flapping on slightly bumpy seawaters, and easels covered with thick, confident and meaningful paint. Every small part of these songs depict full days, full years and feel like a rush of sunshine, an onslaught of life and the lively discussions that come out of the air when guards are let down and there's nothing to be afraid of any more. The lemon of pink feels like it's a sound, as if we're to hear it as the souring of the soft and the innocent, as if we're witnessing that which is bound to happen, that which we can't avoid. It can either be accepted or fought and most choose to fight - some for brief moments and others for the rest of their lives. The Books bring us to the wisdom from within the storm. All around are the flailing rifts and the off-shoots of what come from preparations and dreams. Used at the end of the song "Smells Like Content," is an audio clip from some unknown source, a slice of a monologue or an aside, where a young man says, "Expectation leads to disappointment. If you expect something big, huge and exciting…," and then trails off, with more than a touch of sadness and weariness in his worn out voice. It's an overriding feeling that passes throughout The Books - where there are any number of beautiful combinations and places to put the appropriate punctuation points, but there are still only a very few number of ways that the circumstances can ultimately lead. There are these sensations of being overcome with the enormity of decisions and what they might lead to, as well as this scary ambiguity of not knowing if we're having an epiphany or if we're just really tired or really drunk, or both. We're there in the moment, but more often, outside of it and around it, only able to string together our thoughts long after the origin of them and at that time, they're somewhat crumbled and sticky, yellowed and slightly out of breath, but still tender as a shoot and a night.