Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We imagine that when Fort Collins, Colorado is being pummeled by winter, it's the time when Candy Claws doesn't mind being trapped indoors. It just might be when the band finds itself at its happiest point, bouncing off the walls and receptive. Rather than begrudging the dumpings of snow and the cold and dark days, it retreats into its den (or dens) and it dreams itself warmer. It could be without the use of any artificial means, too. Visitors might come over to their homes and the various members would have no answer for how they've managed to create such cozy confines, other than the power of visualization and pure gumption. They wouldn't have answers for their dumbfounded guests as to why they don't have a furnace or how in Sam Hell that was even possible - you know, to not have a furnace in a place where it snows, slows and gets cold. Within the walls of the places they live and dine in, there would never be a need for blankets or sweaters. You could simply walk around barefoot in tee-shirts and shorts at all times, the way you would in the heart of a summer, when the skin knows it's supposed to start perspiring the second it meets outside air and glasses fog up the second they meet inside air.
It's what you get from Candy Claws music, a sense and a feeling that you are amongst some of the most favorable conditions that anyone could ever be afforded - times when skin is radiating with the same temperatures as it's hitting on its strolls. Many of the band's songs have these dramatic introductions, leading in with a symphony of flirtatious parts - like the sounds heard in major motion pictures when there are scenery scans of resorts and coastlines, with the biplanes skimming off the top of the water and splashing a little bit - a mélange of feel-good-ness that's like sitting down with a familiar favorite book and a pipe. Lead singer Ryan Hover escorts us into a feeling of thick shag carpeting, into a place where we can bet on never having our drinks go empty. It's a place that we could get lost in and - in all frankness - would love and prefer to get lost in. We'd love to just sink up to our elbows in the sensation that the places that Candy Claws makes for us give us. The band's newest full-length, "Hidden Lands," feels like the portion of church that we'd still be going to if that's at all what going to church was like. It's a palm-leafed and drowsy experience of getting set into a likeable groove, where the hands on a clock or wristwatch just spin dizzily or they stop altogether. A lot of times, there's little different between the two and with Candy Claws, we're fine with being stuck wherever they'll stick us.