A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick




Arris looked at the walls around us and said, ‘I bet we could knock one down if we wanted.’ Of course, I said, if it’s sound. She strode to each surface, knocked and listened in turn. ‘Well, they all sound amenable to me.’ Her laughter fell out and furnished the room around me, her dreams and intentions colouring everything. ‘We’ll start from the middle and work our way out,’ she said. ‘Making and shaping space as we need it.’ Knock down whatever you want, I told her, I will build the pillars to keep the roof over our heads. 


Arris looks out over the waterfall and is still for a moment. ‘The sound will never be the same,’ she says, ‘every trickled note is a new iteration of combination and intonation but the effect over time is homogeneity.’ I suggest it’s one of natures menial magics and she shakes her curls against my neck. ‘It’s us playing the trick,’ she says, ‘it’s too beautiful for us to handle so we drown it out.’ I look out over the waterfall and listen to the world move through time. I tell her, I can hear every moment of our lives.

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood: With Animals

Article originally appeared on The Music Aug 21st 2018

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood have circled each other for over a decade, with Garwood’s guitar strung across both Gargoyle and Blues Funeral, yet, this is only their second double billed album.

Following on from the five-year-old, Black Pudding, the pair have created something a little lighter on the palate, let’s say white souffle by way of the bayou, but that doesn’t betray its density.

For fans of their equally extended careers, there’ll be some retread, though it’s less like local streets and more akin to visiting cemetery kin. The new ground covered is fresh and dirty as turned earth.

Inherently touching and darkly familiar, With Animals dulcet batch of misery is a slow-motion gut punch — the sort of thing that might slip out of a whiskey bottle onto a dusty old porch, staining a permanent lineament. There is so much gravel washed sadness you’d be forgiven for missing the slight social commentaries embedded in Lanegan’s lyrics. The title track’s knife-like chorus, “Girl, you are a murderer,” serves as an ode to meat consumption and also a wonderfully anti-romantic diatribe — combined with Garwood’s cutting compositions, their songs have a tendency to stick in your soul.


I feel her hand on my shoulder, incalculable aeons of stardust settling. You should be working, a whisper. ‘I was daydreaming about you,’ I say. Only the day? A solar echo. That seems restrictive. Her laughter spools out, universally intertwining light and sound, gravitational waves and electromagnetism. Every move she makes causes an affect. ‘I wish you were here,’ I say, finding myself laughing. It took so long to parse, with nothing but theory until I’d felt the physics. I reach through space to take our hand and her voice is mine, ‘Even when I’m not there—’ I’m here.


She’s presently living in another time. Only a mere matter of hours but seperate still from mine. I look up at the constellations and think of dilation. The farther out you go the further you stray from now. Four hundred and ninety seconds from Sol to surface, an Apollonian joke. I laugh and wonder how long it would take the sound to reach her heart, but I can’t clock the variables and the thought falls apart. Staring at our mutual stars instead, counting to infinity in my head, I take comfort knowing that, relatively speaking, we are always wed.

Special Guests… Can I Sample A Feeling?

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