Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Josh Niles of Big Light, Nashville, Tennessee
We never make it out of here alive.
We never make it out of here with any of our stuff.
Worse yet, we never make it out of here whole.
Trixie Whitley reminds us that we leave bits and pieces of ourselves everywhere. Sometimes this is extremely painful and other times, it happens so effortlessly and without notice that it too is painful - this mindless, forgetful, extravagant losing. She sings about leaving parts of her soul behind in places, and that's a whole lot more than just losing some bits and pieces. But even through all of these scatterings, Whitley tends to hint at recourse and rejuvenation. These pieces - of whatever they are - don't have to be lost forever. They can be collected back up, maybe adhered back to their right positions in the soul or stomach or head or chest.
She sings, in her midnight-y way, of her gradual return, a sort of healing that will stretch on for a while. Shelter will be sought and then she'll let herself work her way back out again, giving herself the kind of rope that she needs, while keeping it anchored to something sturdy. There's a portrait of a person, or people, in many of Whitley's songs, where they're standing up to both their own insecurities and to those attacks from the outside, with a resolve that makes it feel as if there's nothing that's really going to shake them down completely. There's no way that they'll be reduced to shells, fingernails, garments and clumps of hair. They'll still be something. Their blood will grow stronger. Their nerves will right themselves and they will pick themselves up. Whitley's stories are soaking with a kind of shaky vitality that let's you know that you're not just phoning it in. They are covered in it. Surrounded on all sides. The light ahead of them could be a train, but it might just be a small train that they can dodge. They're taking the dangerous future on.
Trixie Whitley's album "Fourth Corner" is out today and can be bought here