Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
This afternoon, we let the kids skin off all their sticky clothes, down to their underwear so they could run around the backyard and mess around in the water as much as they wanted to. They could just soak themselves, every inch of themselves. It was 100 degrees outside and there were no good ways to stay cool if you were out there. The popsicle supply was dwindling and the children just did not understand why there was no good reason to head out there, unless they wanted to suffer. So, the clothes came off, and they looked as if they had never been happier, while still sweating their asses completely off.
We think of such melting days here in this essay about St. Lucia, the musical project of Jean-Philip Grobler, because we are led in the direction of skies and seas melting together when we hear him sing and play. We think about what it means when there is no difference between the two, when he's playing. We think about taking tray after tray of ice cubes out to the edge of a hot ocean's shoreline and dumping them all in, to let them float out to see, believing that if they can just hold on long enough, and travel swiftly enough, that they will eventually meet the sun as it's setting and offer some relief to the boiling waters that find themselves at the intersection.
Grobler crafts songs in a way that makes them feel as if they were communing with some endless table of mysterious water, a body of the stuff that just goes on and on forever, while reaching down further than we could ever possibly imagine, filled with everything that you could ever dream of. It's of a closeness that hurts and a warmth that we pull closer, even when it makes us sweat everything clean away.