I’ve got a big decision to make and I feel very pressured into making it. Is John Moreland one of my top artists right now? I think all evidence points to yes. It’s a big decision to make though. When someone asks me who my favorite artists are am I legally bound to say John Moreland now? I think so. This is his third album in a row that I’ve been thoroughly impressed with. It came out a couple weeks ago and I don’t think I haven’t fallen asleep to it since.
He had been labeled the King of Heartbreak after his first two albums. We heard him say in interviews that he wanted to shed that title. He didn’t want to be synonymous with sadness anymore. I understand feeling that but my man, John, you’re so fucking good at heartbreak. Even in this album, the second song, he opens up with some sadness.
I wanna fall asleep forever
I wanna learn to disappear
Can you take away the mess, that’s been building in my chest
Drowning out the song I used to hear
Love’s a violent word, don’t you forget it
I ain’t saying that you ever could
I’ve seen my seasons change
I was crying out your name
Remember when we used to feel so good
Songwriting blows me away. Writing, in general, is hard. You have to take all the jumbled up shit your feeling in your head and arrange it in clever and effective words. That’s hard! Now to write a good song you also have to cut the sentences in half, make it rhyme and make it follow a rhythm. I never understand how some people can do that so naturally. Moreland and Isbell are among the top when it comes to songwriting right now.
Also, I think John was able to find love and that was where the rumors that this would be a less ‘sad’ album came from. The last verse of the last song on the album shines a light into this.
So here I stand, right before you
Waiting for my turn to tow the line
Don’t let me die in California
While I’m dragging all these rivers in my mind
Cause I’ve found a love that shines into my core
And I don’t feel the need to prove myself no more
And when I look into the mirror, now I see
A man I never knew that I could be
I hope he and his love stay together forever but if they break up I’ll be salivating waiting for that album.