Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's a different distance for every person -- the amount of space one needs to feel as if they've gotten away far enough to where they can feel delightfully insignificant. It should be desirable, something that you close your eyes and fantasize about. Some people, I'm sure do this. They just can't wait for that chance to flee the static. It seems like there's an entire advertising campaign for Corona based on this premise playing out on television sets right now, where those business attired folks in Manhattan find that they're able to get away just by drinking a Corona with a lime while sitting in a bar's outdoor veranda. They sit there uncommunicative, with stares fixated due forward, imaging that they're in their bathing suits, looking out on an ocean, surrounded on three sides by sand and covered in the friendliest of sun. It's a feeling that's needed some days, more days now, it seems.
Sam Cohen, the lead singer for Yellowbirds, takes us as far as he can take us by hand, leading us to the very edge of where the land ends and the wild ocean begins. It's lapping right against your calves and there's a hesitation that you feel between just walking right into it or holding onto that weird tension of not being able to actually fulfill your urges, but still have the benefit of swimming in an aural and visual splendor of water and freeness. It's the near abandonment of everything, of being sucked under the swells and waves and always still finding the top of the water, when we can burst from it and complete the sensation of euphoria, of being taken by the elements and still be operating as an imperfect, but thoughtful and feeling animal. We hear raccoons chattering and mountain birds singing at the start of "The Color II," a song from the band's recent record, "The Color." They're wide awake and we can almost picture the ways that the sun's shooting through that canopy of leaves in a forest that's been left behind, silent, statuesque and bubbling with more life per square inch than we'd ever be able to see what our own eyes. Cohen sings that, "We were made for dreaming," and he backs up those words on "The Color," with songs that seem to blur the edges between what's within our grasps and what we wish was. There's a need in Yellowbirds music to place one's head out somewhere in the clouds, up there with the woozy harmonies and melodies that are being made. It's capturing all of those moments that make us not want to return to some of the things that we have to return to, those moments that make our eyes big and then they well with what's there, with what 's just out of reach beyond our horizons, quietly mocking.