Catching Up

Running behind, catching up. Always catching up and then falling behind. Up, behind, down, around. Repeat repeat repeat.

So it’s Tuesday. It’s Thursday. It’s Saturday again and never again, again. Drip the honey on your tongue, slip the tunes around your torso. What did we miss? What did we miss? Modernity insists on progress wrapped in nostalgia. Persists within anxiety cloaked in need.

We nearly missed RVG. Out of Melbourne out of Adelaide out of place out of time. A set of raw but ravaging live recordings released in 2017 and a single in 2019 that blinks in the blur of a Liberty Belle cascade on a Wide Open Road. See, it makes me clumsy. Forces me to stop. Start. Start. St-st-st-stutter step stop. Suede sweeps of charity shop jewels. Toys we lost in the floods and cares we found in the flames. The fleeting preening of a genderless Manics berating themselves in mirrors cracked and foxed. Delicious is over-used and this music is why.

We nearly missed S-Bends, who are also Australian and also sound exquisitely out of time and place. A gentler sound but scratchy enough to leave tender bruises. A five year old debut EP that is full of empty desire and the echoes of our dreams of tomorrow. A cover of a Rowland S. Howard number and a string of digital singles in 2019 wrapped up with luxurious extras in a set called ‘Nothing Feels Natural To Me’. Perhaps, perhaps, but this sounds naturally awkward and delicately poised on the edge of a forever that resonates to the sound of Jonathan Richman’s little dinosaur hitting (the) Pavement. The darkness trembles and eases a subtle wayward nervous smile. A song about visiting an I.C.U. at Christmas feels violently personal and churns my stomach. So good to be reminded we are alive. A song about inheriting an ’81 Datsun Pulsar that shivers with regret. A song called ‘Two States’ that hovers betwixt and between. Here nor there. Her not here. Slow-mo dreaming of Peugeots in the Sahara and the sound of Magpies and mogadon rain on the roof.

Here’s to a new decade. Same as the old decade. Running behind, catching up. Catching up and then falling behind. Up, behind, down, around. Repeat repeat repeat.

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