Words by Sean Moeller // Illustration by Johnnie Cluney // Sound engineering by Brett Allen
Scottie Yoder sings on "Coldest Morning Light," that he wakes up every day just to wait for the night and it could be for good reason. The songs that he writes for his band, The Pharmacy, are written for those twinkling times when the birds have calmed their acts down considerably, the winds have mostly died and late-risers are catching their late dinners and staying up past their breaking points for the good reason of it being the intersection between normality and sinfulness. It's less bright and that helps because all that light of the day just precludes the dimension of soothing darkness that the band offers.
Yoder, keyboardist Stefan Rubicz and drummer Brendhan Bowers bring out the joy that there is inherent in an echo that's called out over the wound or winding down environment of houses and people - a note that pierces across the shadows, over the cooling and soon to dew objects left outdoors and bounds through all of the graveyards that suddenly feel the most alive, when the lights have been taken down, shot from the sky. We seem to be in a graveyard or different graveyards in various songs as Yoder sounds as if he stays awake all night on a regular basis, just to check out the contours of the night that most people don't know exist.
The Pharmacy makes a kind of music that is indebted to some of those people six feet under the ground, rotting in coffins in New Orleans and Chicago, calling on some of the penniless, but genius jazz and blues greats while still steeping the root of its sound in old-timey, popular, rock and roll music - the kind of music that came during those times when people thought about A sides and B sides and when the idea of recorded music and playback was as thrilling as anything out there. It's music that is ragged and brilliant in its sort of spooky take on the mundane. We're hearing about it all, as it's written and performed, after all of the dust has settled and the smoking has just begun - where you can see it gathering around ceiling lights dangling silently above a billiards table or a sagging couch. The creases and lines in faces are softened in the dimmed light and The Pharmacy describes for us the aspects of the hardened lines that have been blurred. They seem to now lie comfortably within the darkened spaces. We drift, all bewitched in our listening.