You only grow when you learn to peel back the rose colored film you’ve spent much of your life putting over everything; over summer afternoons you spent under the shade of sprawling citrus trees as a kid, over first car rides alone with no destination, over who you were last year, or last week or who you are now. It’s realizing the roots of those trees always were a little rotted, that memories aren’t bathed in a rose gold glow, but that the late afternoon sunlight that hangs over them is still good enough. You come to understand the difference of something broken that needs to be fixed, something just in need of some changing over time and something flawed but still good, just the way it is now; every tear does not need you to mend it. Eventually you start to see things how they are, no longer hidden by blushing veils, honest and unclothed under stark daylight.
Judas Hung Himself in America by Mathew Lee Cothran is an honest introspection on loss, sobriety and the terrifying experience of being alive. Complexly woven melodies intertwine with poignant lyrics and ethereal compositions, giving the album a wistfully content feeling; memories playing behind closed eyes like film reels sunbleached over time, soundless and existing as a reality for just a moment longer. Each syllable tells of an experience unique and personal to Cothran, yet as you listen, the words become malleable, taking shape and telling your own story as you listen. The album maintains a juxtaposition of comforting familiarity and fresh originality, mixing style and composition of new, with lingering tones of past releases, like walking up the path to the house you grew up in, some changes made by the people who live there now, but still the same, still your home, even after all these years.