Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
Rachel Staggs and Carlos Jackson, of the Austin, Texas, band All In The Golden Afternoon, don't really have a preference about where they want to take us, but they are damned sure that they want it to be poorly lit. They aren't taking us to those blind-out-yellow afternoons, no matter what their name might suggest. They're taking us into the sloughs, down in the valleys, behind the shadows, into the cool chill of the forgotten, or of the post-dusk, pre-midnight.
The walk that's taken in the song, "Distant Eyes," happens after dark and even with a lilting breeze, the air still feels as if it's concealing a sky full of ravens, a moodiness that could reach down and grab you. It could pluck you up and throw you into an even deeper part of the night, a place that you'll never return from and a place where they'll never find you.
Staggs sings, "This love is a work of art/Sometimes it falls apart," and it's in the second half of this exchange where we're most confident, where we can anticipate the damage that could be stalking us. Then again, we complete most walks through this very park, occurring during nights just like this one and nothing happens. We aren't quartered and split or abducted.
We're barely looked at, much less accosted and still there's that sensation that it could happen, that the set-up would be perfect for something like that to happen. What we get in its place is a situation that feels like that locale halfway between a dream and a nightmare, where the possibilities are endless and the deviants are out in full force, flashing smiles, showing off their magic tricks and playing it cool.