Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
Nothing's more distracting than a steady fucking rain in the middle of a summer-long drought that's screwed everything up. Here it is, dark and quiet on a Sunday evening, in the middle of August, somewhere out here in the fly-over states, and we're getting the second big rain of the week, something that hasn't happened in months and months. It's been a hot and humid nightmare. Everything's scorched. Everything that's been trying to grow in the dry earth is pitifully malnourished and not really alive at all.
There's a man, in the Zulu Winter song, "Small Places," who's praying for rain, in general and for a dry mouth. So, as the rain is hitting and then slinking down the side of my house, like a prowler, I'm listening to a man pray for rain like he needs it too. There's nothing wrong with hoping for as little rain as possible, so that you have to mow the lawn the fewest number of annual times, but praying for rain, needing it to rain is serious business and that always trumps lazy, self-serving wishes that serve no greater good and actually do much damage.
The song's not all about a prayer for rain, but lead singer Will Daunt asks a few times, "What kind of man are you?/Holding onto that feeling," and hearing him do so tonight, it hits us that this is a question that could mean a whole host of things. The answer to the question asked and the many feelings that could be getting held onto make all of it feel constricting, like we're never going to figure any of it out.
There's frozen time spilled all over Zulu Winter songs and there are stunted feelings, meanderings through some pits, through some gullies and few of them are well-lit, but rather dim and requiring cautiousness to get through them to the other side. We are often flung and we tend to leave pieces of ourselves here and there, sometimes as the pieces that get held onto by others - just part of the problem, never the solution. People getting seeded like clouds that are never going to spill out.