What would you say
If you had to leave today?
Leave everything behind
Even though for once, you’re shining
My roommate decided to go to bed, but I’m not one to turn off a movie – let alone The Shawshank Redemption. I settled back into my seat, glass of whiskey in hand, and let Red’s concluding thoughts wash over me as the camera pans across the Pacific…
I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
Suddenly, without warning, the gravity of my past decisions found their pull. I remembered how it had felt that morning, climbing the ramp onto I-90, with Chicago in the rear-view mirror. To leave it all behind. To make a choice that would make any reader want to turn the page. It was so raw, but its consequence left me feeling numb. To this day, the aftershock still catches up to me in waves. At times, it feels as if it’s just another story – an answer to the inevitable, “So how did you end up in Seattle?” I have a wide array of answers to this question, depending upon the listener, their attention, the mood, how many drinks we’ve shared and my first impression of their character. I’ve told it so many times, I fear I’ve become an actor, vomiting lines I’ve memorized ad nauseam. I’ve forgotten how real it was – how real it is – as my life has never been the same. How dreadful. To be the storyteller and miss the point, the heart, of the story entirely. But then these flashbacks strike within me and – once more – I’m reminded of the gravity of it all. I take a look around and see my home with eyes anew. And I thank God for that fateful morning. How did I end up here?
This single from Junip’s upcoming album (arriving April 23rd) has been out for a while, but I felt the need to spend some time with it. José Gonzalez’s music is so lush and patient, I’ve found my relationship with it is far richer if I give it some room to breathe, allowing it to fill the space it needs to – in its own time. This track was no different. At first listen, its beginning had me believing this was simply another track from Fields. And then something happens at 2:10. The strings rise and the melody transforms ever so slightly, becoming far more urgent, pleading your heart’s attention. This point not only marks a significant change in this track, but in his craft as a songwriter. Up until now, Junip has mastered the ability to orchestrate these therapeutic, cyclical songs that envelop your consciousness, but Line of Fire punctuates this with an emotive, engaging hook. I hope this is a sign of what this next album may bring. I hope.