Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Within the song "What's It Worth," Doldrums' Arick Woodhead makes an atmosphere that's mostly wholesome, something that could have come off of an old Saturday Evening Post magazine cover. He sings, "Guess we're staying in all winter," and there could be chestnuts roasting on an open fire, the smoke from the wood filling the room and making you want to put a stew on, devour some books and write letters to old friends. The song though, like the standard Doldrums output, is not what it seems. The song features dust cracklings and backbeats that connect with the wavy and shorting out synthesized dramatics. It feels like some kind of wilderness madness setting in, the idea of being out in the barren woods to wait out the ugly weather for the rebirth of spring and suddenly recognizing that it was a bad idea and you and your compadre are ill-prepared to deal with the claustrophobia and the conditions. Now there's nothing either of you can do and you're as stuck as you could ever be. It's a settling in to a cabin fever that claims you in blood and likeness, turning its prey into unwilling subjects. Woodhead sings, "Caught you in the desolation/Caught you wide-eyed," when things have gotten interesting and the characters have gone stir crazy. The split emotions don't end there as Doldrums music tends to be all over the place, littered with contradictions and seemingly endless ebbs and flows that make you feel as if you're losing your marbles a little bit. You feel as if you need to either need to just let everything unravel, let it all go loose and fall or fight to remain stable. It seems to be a more enjoyable process to let the lights blind you, to let the white snow blind you and to accept all of the cluttered fuzziness for what it is: a way to let go, to sink into the mattress or cushions and just be a waiting animal.