The day passes. The sun sinks behind trees, streaming in through windows and sliding across the living room floor in slow pilgrimage, as if light were a thing to be followed, sharp angles and all. In the lengthening shadows, the sound of The Daredevil Christopher Wright’s latest EP, The Longsuffering Song, takes you by hand and pulls you after those shifting spots of light.
It’s been awhile since these three men from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, have released music or toured, but their time has not been idle. In five weighty songs, they question all that’s good and bad in us and say to hell with it, we’re living anyway.
It begins with a song fit for cathedral-beauty, height and beauty being natural companions. In their architectural harmonies is the vestige of stained glass windows and towering ceilings. This brief song grows to fill its given space the way refracted light colors everything, the way confession begs a larger grace.
The smallness that grows can stem from a holiness within us or something awful: the wolf, the bear, the beast. (Even cathedrals have unpleasant sides: histories of slave labor and cold, damp floors.) There’s a danger to the small things and what they could make of us. In the choice we face everyday–to regress to animal or grow beyond that–is the fear that we will choose wrongly or that our better self is sadly, still animal. “Deep in my past is a thirst that at best is perceivable and at worst insatiable,” sings guitarist/vocalist Jon Sunde. It’s a paralyzing fear. It sparks doubt, revulsion, questions you’d rather not see answered.
Yet the next song throws off all paralysis with the challenge to love with everything we are, to give with abandon. Even when it’s complicated. Yes, even then should we plant, sing, flourish, make known and be known, fill the space we are in and overflow. To love like this is to chase after holiness.
The tension between fear and abandon continue. An eerily playful tone runs through the somber “Man of Significance,” and there’s a hard persistence in the music of “Darkness, Darkness,” (“What of all the things you used to profess?” asks Jon.) In the realm of our hearts, truth is not clear. The beast crouches not far from love. Sometimes our eyes are on the patterns of light; sometimes the shadows.
In the end, though we wait, though we shoulder the longsuffering life, we see change. Subtle, yes, but movement nonetheless. The Longsuffering Song is the story of music makers learning to pace themselves in the long haul, fumbling the steps to become better people, allowing the terrible inward self to give way to love as shadow and light mingle in the coming of dusk, the first stars of evening.
released September 6, 2011
Recorded Dec. 2010-June 2011 at Future Appletree Studio Too, Davenport, Ia.
Engineered by Patrick Stolley
Mastered by David Gardner
Produced by The Daredevil Christopher Wright
I’ll be a wolf and you’ll be a bear and we’ll bare our claws, ‘cus that’s our cross to bare. Through the blood that we share, be me wolf and be you bear, we’ll feel each tragedy, sympathetically.
And I think you are my brother, and I will hurt when you hurt. The children that dream of our faces will cry for their mother’s hand. We’ll be the namesake of every band, the namesake of the every band, the namesake of every band.
Wooly and wild, everyone that I meet thinks I’m lovable. It’s quite unbearable. ‘Cus deep in my past is a thirst that at best is perceivable and at worst insatiable.
Maybe the animal of choice is the choice to be the animal.
Do you think those dudes were just born plain horrible? No I don’t think so but then I’ve been wrong before. That hideous strength they dealt, oh so terrible. Yeah I can’t deny the pain is historical. Do you think those dudes were just born plain terrible? No I don’t think so but then I’ve been wrong before. I don’t think so but then I’ve been wrong before. I don’t think so but then I’ve been wrong before.
No, it’s more like we become the beast, the beast, the beast. The wailing and the gnashing of teeth……Ahhhhhhhhhh
Track Name: Love With All Your Heart
Love with all your heart, but then you say, “oh no, it’s complicated man.” I know it is. Loving with, Loving with, all your heart.
Plant with both your hands and then the sun and soil will do what they do, the seedlings born. Planting with, Planting with, both your hands.
Sing with all your breath and then you know your song may slip into God’s ear, a pleasing sound. Singing with, Singing with, all your breath.
Yeah, from your first birth cry to the rattle of death. From your first birth cry to the rattle of death, the rattle of death.
Track Name: Darkness, Darkness
Darkness, Darkness is there anything you’d like to confess to ease your aching conscience? But the words tore like stitches in your flesh, and the thought boiled like bile in your chest. Oh, who would have guessed.
Darkness, Darkness what of all the things you used to profess? Those ancient truths that you undress and laid bare pale and naked for your friends. But modesty closed their eyes and tied their hands. Oh, who will understand.
Darkness, Darkness when the myriad interests coalesce and manifest the radiant countenance, well they’ll brighten the dark corners by themselves. And they’ll comfort all the mourners o’er until. Oh, It has been fulfilled.