Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews at 2KHz at Church Studios, Crouch End, London
The principles that need to be abided by to make it through a good, long life are non-negotiable. They're rooted in resiliency. They seem to work the best if you're just able to stay on your feet and if you're able to keep taking punishment and nourishment. Like everything else, it's more about the war of attrition than anything else. All of the finest details are garbage compared to answering a simple question every single morning, "Did you or did you not live to fight another day?" If the answer keeps coming up that yes, you most definitely live to fight another day, then you're doing something right, even if you're doing most things wrong.
When they get old enough, we celebrate the old hags and codgers who sit around the old folks homes and in their own residences, batting away all of the worst effects of decay before they set in too horribly. They're the tough old birds that have been smoking packs and packs of cigarettes, day-after-day since they were 12 years old, just planning on sticking around as long as they can. The members of the Dunwells aren't those tough old birds, wrinkled and scraggily in their existence. They're a might bit more tender. They're all for getting through the hardships and surviving in the best ways that they've found, but they're hoping for more sweetness to come to them. It's a persistence, a stumbling toward some kind of clarity and warmth that shines through on Dunwells songs, which are wont to feature gorgeous harmonies and an organic musicality that screams for hand-holding.
The people that are chronicled in Dunwells songs are tenacious, as lead singer Joe Dunwell sings, "As the sun goes down, we carry on regardless." The line suggests that there's no stopping those hearts, but there's still a feeling that these people hope for less struggles, fewer thuds. He sings, elsewhere, "I'm not afraid of falling/I just don't want to hit the ground." It would be best if the rains could just fall when they needed to and the crops could suck down all the drink that they needed to grow and be plentiful. It would be great if love and sweetness could fall the same way, able to be caught by just extending a net.