Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's quite amazing that any of us have it in us to be so patient with things. It drives us mad when we encounter that impatience that we find unruly and disruptive. We find ourselves boiling when someone is off-the-handle, making a bigger deal about something than they need to, wanting things to have happened yesterday when there's no way to even start getting closer to starting the process than until five tomorrows from now. Those are the heart attacks just waiting to happen, or impatiently not waiting to happen. Either way. Maybe we should put ourselves closer to these heart attacks more than we do, as there is no infinite currency that we hang onto. We can't very well clutch the dwindling twilight or the days that are ours so you'd think that chewing our nails and involuntarily tapping our feet would come much more naturally. We should be in a hurry. We should feel like everything could come crashing down in some epic heap any second. There's always this pressure to make the most of our time, but that ship's always sinking.
Nashville, Tennessee, band The Winter Sounds has a theory that we're all racing to our graves and it could be that we are, or it could be that we're not. It could be that our graves are racing to meet us and it's a scarier notion to have to deal with. The life and death of all of these bodies gets summarized in the snowy moments that Winter Sounds lead singer Patrick Keenan forces us to come face-to-face with. For the most part, it's one life and one death that are the primary concerns, though there's no keeping other bodies out of the way. Sometimes they serve to block or slow down the arrival of these approaching graves. Other times, they stop nothing and actually expedite the process. Some of the bands songs make you feel as if your heart's speeding up unnaturally, as if it's trying to get somewhere without you. This is caused by the excitement and uncertainty that are meant for each other.
A song like "Stranded In Snowville," is a fine example of the tempo of a body and its pulses and thrums getting away from it slightly. It's when there seems to be a hole in the bottom of the boat and the water's rushing in quicker and quicker, but there's a solution. There's some gum or some putty available for use, to slow it all down, to delay it, to keep the ride going. The song feels like a reuniting of two people, under impossible and unplanned circumstances. The conditions couldn't have been more ideal and it feels - with the loping piano playing around with our fevers - that there's a clock on the affair. These are last gasps here. Keenan sings, "You and I are swimming in a summer sunset/All the leaves are floating in the lake/I waded through them/And you and I are stranded there in Snowville, Utah/Honestly, I wanted it that way." It's warm and cold there under the stars, watching as the breaths come out in sputters and halts. The light is white gold, coming down from the moon on those nights, when the blood pressure feels great to be so high. Let it bust us to pieces when it feels this wild. As Keenan suggests, "When the world gets awful, child, you should let it go." This can only come after the seizure and the attack. Let it snow us in and cover us.