Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The difference is usually so small.
The difference is usually so noticeable, in hindsight.
Morgan Nagler, the lead singer and chief songwriter for the Los Angeles group Whispertown, senses that with every song she writes. She must, we're led to believe. She must sense that, with enough perception, one should be able to outwit the trickier parts of life. She'd love to believe that such a thing were possible, but she's been through enough to know that there's no chance that anyone's got the inside track. She knows that there's no secret knock or handshake to be had that will magically flip the switch on all of the hidden answers. There are no elixirs. None. There are no tonics or potions. There's nothing that will come to your rescue, nothing that will grab you, bring you under the ropes and slap a VIP, all access pass on you and point you toward catering and all the free beer you can drink and even if it did, it would all be a game, a foolishly believed ruse.
Nagler has made it her mission to write songs that punctuate the realization that most of our problems lie internally and there are states of mind that we can put ourselves in to alter our realities. It still might happen that that guy or that girl crushes us to smithereens, but there are still the choices of laughing, crying or lying in bed for days that can be chosen as remedies. She sings, "If you don't want to wake up/I recommend a deep sleep/Uninterrupted/It's a balance beam/If you don't want to wake up/I recommend a long dream." There's a hint of suicide in there, but the overwhelming feeling is that someone's more likely to choose the long dream and hope that it helps them ride out the roughest spots on the water.