it’s interesting how time plays into the tracks on the sunset tree
- forcing myself to take a hard autobiographical reading wrt JD’s public comments on that time in his life, which sometimes skeeves me out as i have an ever-strengthening resolve to Not Pry or Speculate Too Much, “you or your memory” seems a clear depiction of post-abuse drug addiction, no looming threat of the abuser but the imminent threat of self-destruction. such a vivid scene cuz it’s after the narrator locks up in his hotel room bu then those last lines in present tense, an in the moment prayer: “lord if i make it through tonight/then i will mend my ways” &c
- “broom people”/”this year” are as-if-in-the-moment recollections of childhood, both present tense
- “dilaudid” seems it could be either drug period or childhood – sidenote, is the woman in “dilaudid” confirmed the same woman from “attention all pickpockets”?
- “dance music” again a present-tense recounting of a past event
- “dinu lipatti’s bones” is past-tense but a beat-by-beat narration of an event
- “up the wolves” back to present tense, but the first verse of “up the wolves” is the first thing that feels to me genuinely abstract on this album – “there’s bound to be a ghost at the back of your closet/no matter where you live” – just describing a fact/notion, not an event
- “lion’s tooth” brutal and present tense, a fever-dream revenge fantasy
- “hast thou” brutal and present tense
- “magpie” is our fourth animal-related song title in a row, an impersonal second-person song full of imperatives and what will come next – future tense as in tetrapod “there will be hell to pay”; its relative vagueness is one reason i read it as an adult looking back & e.g. experiencing flashbacks/disassociation
- “song for dennis brown” a juxtaposition of past tense (”on the day that dennis brown’s lung collapsed”) vs. future tense (”on the day my lung collapses/it’s not going to be much different”) – hard for me to firmly place this in a timeline, but it’s clearly drugs related? dread premonitions here, like “magpie” maybe (”on the day my lung collapses/we’ll see just how much it takes”), using someone else’s past to augur your own future
- “love love love” there’s that great quote from JD about how love is not necessarily a force for good – amalgamation of past tense descriptions of events that always pan back to the vague present/future – “love, love is gonna lead you by the hand” etc.
- “pale green things”, the final bookend of the album, entirely past tense works so well to me because it’s *over*, it echoes but it’s over
i have no point with any of this besides the fact it’s a great fuckin’ album