Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We split our time between sleeping and waking and the difference for all of us is what we do during those periods of being alert and cognizant. That's where everyone's separated since we're all mildly the same when we're sleeping. There are those who think not just about what they're doing during those waking hours, but they're also thinking about the magnitude of them. It's not a grandiose thought, but more along the lines of seizing time and making sure that every droplet of it is used to its fullest potential. There should be nothing spilled, left out on the sidewalk or in the tank, whenever Dr. Death comes tapping at the front door, seeking to come in, just for a minute. Part of that might get rolled up into a legacy sort of thought, of wanting to be remembered for your goodness and the things you were willing to do for others, but so much of it comes down to just wanting to squeeze the bloody pulp out of the days that you've got coming to you, whatever the number might be. Thieves & Villains lead singer Sergio Otaegui sounds to be a young man on one of those lines that gets divergent at times, but then, after a good long night, things get a little more figured out, for the time being. He sounds as if he's a young man who appreciates the good things, the little things that often are free, though rarely abundant. He leads this group of Hudson Valley, New York, friends on this journey, of finding the most redeeming way to the end of their times. It's the long drives and the misfortunes, along with all of the happier moments that make for the proudest parts of their stories and they seem to embrace all of them. There is travel involved in everyone on the group's newest full-length album, "South America," even if they've remained in one place, putting the focus on the journey that a soul can do, without wheels or wings. Otaegui sings at the outset of the song, "Some May Call It Rain," "Lingering back to town with pockets bare of smokes/It's funny how they spoke when no one listened in/All in all we found the toast we were searching for." It's this toast that seems to be what they're always after, some heartfelt version of the toasts that we're familiar with. These are the ones that go out to good friends, good food, a wonderful family and everything that's been shared. It's for all the tears and all the laughs. It's for the easy cherishment of he time that's made us the men or women that we are now. These are gentle pop songs about discovery and about finding light in all the right places. They are about being engaged in every day. They are about the particulars and what it means to believe in those things most of all.