Review of Journal [12k3010]

Fluid Radio (UK)

There are places of hidden treasure where we store things with the intention of coming back to again…

The two tracks on Taylor Deupree’s new 7” release are named “Journal” and “Attic”, places we think to put things of importance, value, and oftentimes, of a highly personal nature, but which remain hidden and elusive to remembrance. When I was younger, I would often sneak up to the attic of my house. We had an attic door that dropped down from the ceiling, giving way to a rickety stairwell with a string attached to it allowing you to tug at the light switch. Going up there over the summer, I distinctly remember the oppressive heat and humidity I encountered upon getting to the final step of the staircase. What did I hope to discover in such a place? I recall there being an air of uncertainty of what awaited me. Most of the things that were up there were remnants of my parents’ past, books and trinkets that were discarded. With my imagination running rampant, I think I hoped to discover something about my parents, who they were in their past lives before they had my sister and me. I wondered whether the things that were up there were meant to be forgotten, or at some point, to be remembered. Were they meant to creep back into our consciousness and remind us of their existence? The attic could be the last stop before we are ultimately ready to move on from a belonging, to forget it, or file away the memory. The finality of parting with something is too much.

For Taylor Deupree, it seems that the items tucked away represent “missed opportunities” or memories explored but not fully realised; the charred remains of what-might-have-been sitting in a dank corner gathering dust. “Attic” emphasizes the rough outline of memory as if an old super 8 film has been glued back together, certain frames overexposed, the gelatin coating worn away, and a recurring hiss plagues the film’s sound as it’s projected. The nostalgic effect is completely immersive; I found myself revisiting a tattered photograph that I used to keep in my dresser drawer but somehow found itself amongst a pile of forgotten photos in the attic. The memory lingers, but the image has strayed. The colors are all washed away in my mind and one day I’m sure I’ll steal away to the attic to find an everlasting moment, not tucked away.

In a similar way, a journal holds our thoughts, dreams, and feelings in a secure place so that one day we may return to them. But do people ever really read through their journal? Or is the purpose of keeping one the actual process of writing down our thoughts and feelings? Years later, the idea of reading through an old journal may sound appealing to get a sense of the person we once were writing about; the person we’d like to become. Would we regain that sense of wonder? Would the dramatic monologues inspire us to care deeply again about someone we lost? A first love, perhaps? I imagine a journal finds its way up to the attic at some point, waiting to be found again. On this 7”, “Journal” features a persistent coo of an organ, the sustain reaching into the soul. A faraway voice finds its way through the sounds closing in on the listener. It seems to know its destination and although the words get muffled along the way, the sentiment does not.

Sadly, this 7” release was limited to 100 copies. Many, including myself, missed out on an artifact that will not be pushed aside and forgotten about. The pieces here resonate thoroughly to the bone and there is no way I’ll be able to file them away in the hopes that one day I’ll happen upon them again. Instead, they will be close at hand to remind me of what was lost and might never be found.

– Review by Michael Vitrano for Fluid Radio

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