Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
There was a line that A Lull lead singer Nigel Dennis said in an interview with his hometown's Alarm Press, a few months ago, in response to a question about his lyrical style, that says a lot about both the writer in Dennis and his band's overall delivery. The question was about his complex lyrics about simple human conditions and what sorts of things did he draw upon to come to those thoughts. He responded, "Well, heartbreak is a very real thing. How you handle it is another." He went on to finish the thought by saying, "It's not just a bunch of deep thought. At the core, they are very literal," leading us into a wonderfully murky cavern of mystery, on the one hand led to believe that we should be very capable of deciphering the sentiments written about and on the other hand feeling as if we are always going to be taking part in a wild goose chase if we're every going to figure anything out when it comes to our bleeding and pumping hearts. We're just set up for rounds and rounds of conjecture and cataracts, milky eyes and foggy hearts. The people that come at us within the confines of the group's latest full-length, "Confetti," are blistered and humbled, though still tearing at days and nights, trying to climb them and get to the tops of them. They are refusing to succumb. They are out there courageously fighting gravity's plentiful, sticky hands. They are out there trying not to sink. They are aware that they are fighting one of those uphill battles that might never level off. The hill could just keep going and going. When Dennis suggests that heartbreak is real, but that the way we deal with it and either move on or confront it is "another" thing altogether, we're led to believe that there is something intensely mystical about the ways that human beings rationalize and digest some of the very commonplace feelings that they'll ever have. Today, I had to calm a four-year-old down after being devastated, really, actually heartbroken that she was beaten to the back door and therefore had to enter the house second. She told me that her feelings were hurt and the crying that she was doing wasn't that of a tantrum, but of honest tumult, genuine sadness and destruction, as if nothing could have hurt her more. You want to tell little kids, when they're broken up over such things, "Get used to it, kid," but it does nothing to actually address the very real and yet abstract ways that heartbreaks should be dealt with. The song, "Some Love," the final song that the band taped here for this session, features Dennis getting a touch scratchy on some of the more emotive notes and it works like a charm. With his bandmates churning around him, swirling the hot waters that could be and are full of all kinds of creative detours that somehow become the all-important grooves, Dennis is singing about the frustration of our worth, or our perceived worth. There are heads and legs being smashed on the ground -- the self-propelled and those being dropped from many stories above, thrown out of windows like garbage sacks to the alleyway -- and then there is a wall of sonic ocean that feels like a mountainous cleansing. We aren't done yet. There's more heartbreak out there to be had and we think we can beat it, but then again, our ways aren't sound.