Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
At some point in most lives, people find something laid out for them. It imagines itself right out of the air and it just appears. Surely, it's not there when we're just born for there must be some period of time when everything is pure innocence, when there is hope for everyone. All babies are afforded some kind of grace period though many have parents who don't do them any favors. For almost everyone, however, there is a time when a noose comes into view. It's the knot and more than enough rope to hang oneself, if that's the way they want to take it. Plenty of people do themselves in. Plenty of people don't even know they're doing it. They become monsters. They turn into the unlovable versions of themselves and they make everything a challenge. They're hard to be around and they assume the worst qualities that they've observed over their years. They've found what it is to be chipper and despised or numb and afraid. They're just the smallest of cogs in the grand machine and they're sure that they will do themselves in, given enough time. They will seek fortune and many other things out of a born into greediness and it will occupy them.
Tristen Gaspadarek, the Nashville songwriter who performs just under her first name, made a record this year called, "Caves," and it's a brilliant album that details the lives of characters who get eaten up by the pangs. She mentions "the great pretender" in the song, "Gold Star," and it's a title that many have here, unsure of what they've become or what they're going to become. There are urges that they must overcome and there are urges that they can't outrun. The inner forces are usually the strongest of all and they're all over these slinky and impassioned stories of wolves and fangs faced -- often in the mirror.