Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Curtis Henderson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
People are only so strong. They have no bottomless well of reserves to tap into, even if they need it. They can have resolve, a steely backbone and determination, but it doesn't mean that it will always be there. All of that can fail a person and it usually does when it gets really bad. The moments of weakness are numerous and they're captivating, from an outsider's perspective. They are the very things that we cannot help but dig deeper into. We like to know when something or someone works, but only to a degree.
We're fascinated by those things that cause people to break - not because we're sick and wish for them to occur, but because we know how quickly they can happen and it's always heartbreaking - the kind of heartbreaking stuff that reaffirms our own life. We tend to like those heartbreaking stories and maybe that's the sick part, but we're fine with it. We feel more during those times and that feels good, even if the matters are sad and we're thinking about the only two things that matter - life and death and the ways that they fuck with one another.
Dallas Green - the man behind the music of City and Colour - cannot help but be intrigued by the ways that those dead and alive are treated, in the song, "Body In A Box." He sings of people in their hurting and wanting states, when they're being ignored or shortchanged. He sings about them when they're too prideful and when they could use just a little slice of compassion. They are strong people and still they're susceptible to everything and they could use a hug or an arm around the waist every now and then, just to know that they're not totally alone. They just need to know that they have someone out there who cares - especially when it's not obvious.
Green writes about lacking hearts, those that are choked up and trying to make it look like they've not been crying for hours in the cold, lonely air. Those who are alive, but thinking about death in "Body In A Box," question the shortness of life in a different way - wondering why they get the best body when they die, why is it's all supposed to be great when they die. He sings, "We celebrate the lives of the dead/It's like a man's best party only happens when he dies/We gather round to pay our respects/While their souls are still searching for the light." It's the damnedest thing to reconcile.