Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Matt Oliver
Hrishikesh Hirway, the maker of the humid and moonlit music of The One AM Radio, takes us into the wavy flames of candles. We feel their beginnings, what it's like to burn steady and clean, without diversion and then the comedowns, where they've been forgotten about, aside from the flecked shadows on the walls, casting their silent aspersions or compliments for no one to hear or understand. He makes the evening music for nights that are concerned with the proceedings of the days. These are the times of reflection that aren't available until after hours, when we've decided that we might try to slow down just a little bit. It's when we excuse ourselves for just a few minutes of leisure, not because we've earned them or we believe that now is as good of a time as any to take them, but because there's so much that's been backed up within, that we need to release the valve just a little bit and let some of it out.
This expulsion is just a bemusing though - in the hands of Hirway and his Los Angeles-based outfit. It's being tied up with and tired of the problems of the day. It's being exhausted of the knots that have formed in the stomach, the heart and even a bit higher, where everything goes to get even foggier. The latest One AM Radio album, "Heaven Is Attached By A Slender Thread," is a collection that sounds like the sweetened depressions of someone who's sure to be okay, but they're depressions all the same. They are the accounts of sad occurrences and of missing people, but they aren't permanently troublesome. They are the pangs and feelings that you can't get away from, no matter how hard you try. They are little deaths and impacting memories that, even when unfortunate, bare some semblances of good remains.
Hirway sings, "Everything falls apart after you go," and it's a theme that gets carried in his writings. Isn't it true, this thought that no matter how bad it gets, as long as that one person is still with us, we'll be able to make it through, we'll be able to keep keeping and make it through just about anything? It seems to be that combined forces, wrapped in care and compassion - it doesn't even have to be love - are all that it takes for meaning and resiliency. His songs double-dip into the waters of downtrodden spirits and some overview that hints are there being some cheerier silver lining out there. The spirit won't be down for long. He sings, "Come on sunlight/Get me out of here/Alive," believing in the powers of a sunny day to get him somewhere better and yet maintaining that there's nothing surefire about any of it. It's a tactic that you can hear in Sam Beam's music as Iron & Wine. It's music that strikes as evenly as heads sunk into hands bemoanings and what could come of all of it if we're actually wrong about most of it. It could just be that it's not going to be so bad. We might be able to last on our own, with or without that sunshine that we think we need.
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