Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Everything seems to hang in some kind of precarious balance when it comes to the lives that are thrown at us in An Horse songs. There's nothing easy going on. There's no certainty. There's no firm ground, but just a blistering pace of heads and hearts tripping over themselves. It's all just a matter of getting caught up in the common mistakes that we all make, having them happen in monumental ways and not waiting around to see how it's all going to settle. It's getting worked up and getting worried about when the next one's going to come, how much worse it's going to be and what will we do then. The songs that Kate Cooper and Damon Cox - the duo that makes up the Brisbane, Australia band - write rely on our most fragile of all degrees, that of our ego and our self-image. It's often overwhelming to try to simply understand the craziness of the jumble that clogging up our own heads, but it's a toxic stew when we attempt to then try to figure out what's going on in other heads - especially when we're no closer to our own clarity. We believe things that we know are wrong. We pawn ourselves off as beasts of composure, people who at least have ourselves figured the hell out, when that couldn't be any further from the actual truth. We might not be horrible disasters, but we're all definitely unfinished crossword puzzles and not the good kinds of unfinished crossword puzzles, but those whose remaining clues have been stumping us all day. We've given up and restarted the wrestling match with them numerous times, thinking that we're bringing fresh eyes and new perspective to them after some time away and yet we sit there with our pencil or pen and ring circles around them, flummoxed. Cooper sings about her runaway brain in "Trains and Tracks," from the group's latest album, "Walls," suggesting that the sound it makes is something like a click clack sound, which seems to be synonymous with an old typewriter. It's like the inference is being made that the thoughts ripping through that upstairs quadrant are still coming out as quickly as they can be drummed up, likely unedited and fact-checked. They're just spilling out and there's no easy way to correct them once they've indented the paper, those metal hands striking with a thwack, a new thing to fret about. Cooper's characters often sound as if they've been on a bender of mass worry. They're overwhelmed and they're trying to call on all of their most trusted methods for calming themselves down, but lo and behold, their most trusted methods for calming themselves have never quite worked well as they were. They keep beating their heads against walls and they just keep trying not to lose it too much.