Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain in Asheville, NC during MoogFest week 2011
There was a kid talking much too loudly yesterday afternoon at the coffeehouse that I frequent to get some writing done and he was full of shit, or so it seemed to me. He was sitting there chatting with a pretty girl and all he could do was grouse about how all he's wanted to do for the last couple of weeks was sleep. He'd been sleeping most of his days completely off, away and into the past. He told her that it was just the way that he coped with things, though he did admit that he realized this wasn't the best way to cope and claimed that he was getting better at not making it such a consuming habit. He went on and on about only wanting to sleep and, oddly enough, pray. He was a strange one who talked about how his roommates thought that he used the Internet as an avoidance tool, but he was really just listening to music all the time to get his head straight. He was detail oriented, or so he said, and this caused a lot of problems for him, all the time. He recognizes that he tends to yawn a lot when he's stuck in awkward situations that he can't get out of. The girl he was with told him that he's been yawning a lot lately and he said that he knew he had been and that he'd appreciate it if she didn't point that out in public because it only makes things worse and the yawning would just get stronger. It was sort of like listening to a toilet run for a half an hour before a mercy jiggle stepped in and he said he was headed home, to bed, at 6:30 pm. All that I wanted to do is to slap him senseless because it might have actually slapped some sense into him.
If you want to be depressed and you want to ruminate and stare at the wall, there's only one suitable way to do it and it's something that Brooklyn's The Drums have had down for a few years now, but absolutely perfected with last year's sophomore album, "Portamento." The way that you're supposed to get through the laze is poolside. Almost everyone knows that. Or, if you're unable to find real estate poolside, you must imagine oneself poolside and you must be very convincing for it to work. Lead singer Jonathan Pierce, guitarist Jacob Graham, drummer Connor Hanwick and guitarist Myles Matheny have done everything they can to bring the sentiments of Benjamin Braddock of "The Graduate," just floating and wandering, into their music. It takes on a curious combination of nostalgia and repulsion of what's transpired. Pierce sings, "Do you remember the old times/Those were the only times/I don't know how it ended/I don't know what you're up to/I've always been right here," and there's a tone there that suggests that little effort was made when this particular relationship ended and little was done to stop it from ending. There's not a lot of desire to fix anything, but there's no stopping looking back at every last drop of it with fondness. The days seem to be extravagantly long. They seem to drag and yet there doesn't seem to be a lot of depressing depression within these songs. It's just the kind that everyone grabs here and there. It's not the kind that makes you want to sleep all goddamn day. It's just the kind that makes you want to think and read a good book, then maybe jump right back into the pool for a few more laps.