"did you get to be who you are. and if not, then why. that, my friend, is the big why." - Michael Winter

basement revolver – johnny


“Johnny” is marching sad and sweet and melancholy, one part petition and two parts prayer. The one-way conversation is concise, sparse like a distillation of Sinead O’Connor singing with The Pixies. The words are introspective as the musings of Courtney Barnett, a close and hyper-conscious first person narrative explaining that “My friends all tell me to hope for the best but I feel the worst / I try to get sleep but my body won’t stop shaking I’m blue / I don’t think I’m ready for the consequences of your actions”. It is a frank letter, the kind you write without thinking about if you’ll send it. This type of letter always includes a desperate overture that begs for understanding. And so the vocals are clearer than clear, each sentence seen silhouetted like a paper snowflake cut carefully and hung on a window. Electric guitar and bass burn through the glass to illuminate the words from behind, enkindling them and beating evenly with the drums when they all wrap together for the chorus. A sprinkling of synth is a promise of past and future peace, but right now? “It’s a really bad time”.

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© Kristin Lee Conrad