Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
There appear to be dead ends or black holes riddling the characters who channel their thoughts into Kevin Coons, singing his country noir guts out in the songs of California band Candle, making them just dizzy enough to know very little about how anything's going to be sorted out. It's a healthy understanding or misunderstanding, however they'd like to accept it, and it leads to intoxicating levels of apprehension and dismay that are ultimately converted into the idea that it's just the way the cookies ALWAYS fucking crumble and there's going to need to be some bucking up, buster, or else these crumbling cookies are going to be the death of you and maybe more. There is a general line of thinking that rumbles like the siren song of a rusty harmonica through the young band's songs that echoes like an empty gasoline drum getting pounded on by a ball pine hammer and it could just be all of the soul-searching roaming that goes on throughout. It's all there - the wide open spaces, the Californian take on American country music, the words that come from a man lost inside his own head and coming to the conclusion that the only way he's going to find anything in this life is to just move, to pick up the bags and just see what all is out there, not just see what all is here. It's a common way of trying to make sense out of the nonsensical, but it can only lead to more riddles cropping up with everyone that gets "solved." The word "solved" probably should always be in quotation marks because it doesn't really mean anything at all other than suggesting a fuzzy perception that can't help but shape-shift and get loose for another chase. There are numerous people - perhaps the same one - just cutting their losses or leaving behind their meager winnings to pursue the enlightenment elsewhere that is supposedly going to be some sort of deliverance, making everything else suddenly get put into its proper place, at which point everyone can settle down to a nice, peaceful supper and conversation. But there are the lingering hopes that there doesn't have to be that journey, no matter how good the idea sounds at the outset. It's one word, one touch, one look away from being a wasted bit of effort and strain, for the tides had adequately turned and there's no need any longer for the goodbyes or the make ups. Candle music is music that feels like good weariness, like the kind of dull ache in the bones that signifies a hard day's work or a little sleep deprivation. It suggests that many different things are making your head hurt at the same time, but are you or are you not still able to take nourishment and make something of an omelet? It all feels like a sunny day that may or may not last longer than another minute if we're unlucky and might not last another 10 minutes if we are. It's a mental atmosphere that takes us into the crippling kinds of complexities that two people who care about one another always find themselves digging through at some point in their relationship - almost more especially if it's a relationship that has any lasting merit or is worth a spit. When Coons sings, "You say the hands of clocks are hard to hold/Restless hearts say so am I," on the terrific new song "For Today," he says it all in so little language that it's beautiful in many ways and it sums up nicely why there's always a tendency to over-think everything the pulse beats out, that sly devil - all of them.