Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The landscape that Theophilus London looks out upon is one of apathetic desolation and one of frustration, albeit a frustration born out of overload. It's the landscape, it seems, that many of us begin to think about when we're just in the middle of humanistic turmoil, if we find ourselves stationed in a sea of everything that's both right and horribly wrong about the current state of the world - everyone zeroed in on the tiny screen of their smartphone, pecking out a text or an e-mail every second of the day and night, unable to fit in meaningful personal interaction, able to access everything and anything they could ever want immediately, wholesale wish fulfillment at the touch of a fingertip. It's an everything world, a world of overkill and consumption that we grudgingly participate in until it's all we know and we make comments like, "I can't even remember what it was like before I had this iPhone. I don't know how I survived." We can become worldly more easily. We can experience a dizzying amount of things instantly and simultaneously while never getting out of our sweatpants and slippers. We can read all of the world's newspapers and see what and whom every celebrity is wearing, every second of the day, find grueling and picky analysis about every look and then voice our own opinions anonymously within seconds. Much of the apathetic desolation and a feeling of abandonment in the current environment, where we've had to roll up our pants legs to wade through all the shit piling up, comes mostly from an acknowledgement of having contributed to it. We are reaping what we've sowed and the music on London's debut EP, "A Lover's Holiday," sounds as if it's lovingly attuned to the aloofness that we're all in the grips of these days. We are busy bodies, most of us, multi-tasking our lives away, with less and less to show for work ethics that are off the charts. It's a serious fight out there, for survival, for vacation time, for love and for dream fulfillment. We are going and going, trying to dress slickly, trying to make art, trying to be well-rounded and interesting, but finding that everything is an uphill battle.
London, who in a short amount of time has become known for his astute fashion sense and a musical style that feels like a jet plane heading for a Caribbean getaway at an island resort, away from all the knuckleheads and numbskulls, but with an undercurrent that drives home the idea that you will have to return to those people and situations eventually, is able to describe the confliction some of us feel with the interconnectivity of everything in our lives and the ability to turn off and escape. We can't get away from anything anymore, aside from just flying off to a remote island and keeping our fingers crossed that we'll enter the Bermuda Triangle and will get some peacefulness for a little while, just enough to get us back some of our lost mental health. The single from the EP, "Why Even Try," is a song about our increasingly homogenous existences, where we can go ahead and feel special about things we do, but one Google search would turn up all kinds of evidence that what we did isn't extraordinary. There are many others. He and Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara sing the hook, "Cause if you think you're special, you're probably not/Why, why, why even try?/Just live in a lie." On "Strange Love," he sings, "It's funny how things don't mean much," but there's seems to be an overwhelming need to still "take the night out" and make the most of what he's doing, what we're doing. There's never a suggestion that we fold, but more a thought of, "This is what we have to work with. Make with it awesomeness if you can." So, we dress sharp and we put ourselves out there to some day get to our own private island.