Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Horns of Happiness front man Aaron Deer and I accidentally crossed paths for the first time it many, many years. It was roughly four years and some change since we'd been in the same room together. He asked me how my kid was. I told him that I had three. Then the conversation steered toward how he'd had to help, not one but two fully naked and fully drunk friends, after falls, to pick them up and try to get them back to where they belonged for the time being. They'd been so fucked up that they'd fallen out of a bed or down awkwardly, while in a state that didn't allow them the functionality to properly pick themselves up and put their bones back in their beds. He was forced to handle them in ways that will always be uncomfortable for a friend to ever have to handle another friend. There is nothing good that comes of such an encounter of ass cheeks, butt holes, crotches and boobs. It's all unwanted and compromised. These were now smeared across Deer's memory and there was nothing that he could do to forget them. As much as he would like to pretend that they hadn't happened, he is helpless in that hope, or making it something that could stick.
It's funny why any of this is even coming up, but Horns of Happiness music has everything to do with the strange lunching together of the wild juxtapositions of people, sounds and sights and an abandonment of them altogether. The heavy synths that Deer employs are often so pointed and jabbing that they feel are if they're alarms, as if they're bringing the warnings that you hear before the skies turn to the devil for their makeovers, before they get bloody and unruly. It's music that feels as if it has fallen out of it's comfort zone, or been pushed out of its nest. The people in these songs are hanging onto the edges of ledges, by the very pads of their fingertips, sliding off bit-by-bit and there's no telling if there will be anyone at the other ends of those falls - if they're naked or full-clothed - the way Deer has been in the past. It's just seen as one big, smoking abyss.