Black Moth Super Rainbow Panic Blooms

[Rad Cult; 2018]

Styles: psychedelic agamospermy, backhoe smells, haze
Others: Ariel Pink, Curved Light, Blithe Fields

They knocked the house down yesterday.

All the inside stuff came out, and now it’s just dandelions a day later.

Some days it feels like inside stuff is spilling out all over, like demolition in wind or seeds in breeze. Some days it feels like even I can’t find my insides. I’m anxious they’ll figure out who I am, really. I’m terrified they’ll never bother wanting to know: “It feels like nothing and we’re already late/ I’ll never be here.”

There’s a lot that goes into making a walled compartment a space to live in. Smells and choices and affections turn architecture into home. There’s a lot that goes into making a feeling a home. It feels like all that stuff should be kept safe; we build up a home around the feelings we don’t want in the world.

And then a backhoe gnaws walls, and the inside stuff comes out. The scared stuff gets scared, “Nowhere forever now/ Feel like the lilacs grow, feel the panic bloom.” Does the panic bloom, or do the blooms panic? Is it the thing that blooms or the way the blooms are?

A wind blows and the fragile caulk of dandelions blows up into the air and “It’s such a beautiful day/ Oh I’m feelin’ negative.”

Black Moth Super Rainbow is the tobacco smells cooked in dented La-Z-Boys. Panic Blooms is the sound of those long-confined smells getting lost in the world. Panic Blooms is the reek we get when we depress on sunny days and when someone laughs at wakes. It’s a world that evaded the contractor’s last vacuum, a cracker crumb, a carpet hair from a dead dog, all those years of dusty skin cells blowing off in the wind like so many dandelions.

Panic Blooms is music for after the demolition, a warped and hazy ode to sadness that can snare-snap a smile whenever. It’s “Bad Fuckin’ Times,” tape runs like weeds on your face, like “Had another day that I fell apart/ But that was yesterday, that was yesterday.” It’s a pastoral psychedelia: it’s consciousness-skipping is between knowing you’re feeling sad and not knowing you never won’t feel happy again. It’s deliberately hazy. How could it possibly make sense? “And I can only feel it when the sun goes down/ But it’s always down, it’s always down.”

This inside stuff let out is less like evolution than it is stagnation. It’s been building up for a long time. Black Moth Super Rainbow’s black sun pop-stuff has always been optimism via vocoder and paranoia, and like their best blurbles, Panic Blooms lays on the tension between pop hook and feeling trapped. “Baby’s in the Void” sticks in between ear hairs like mites and sunshine, and “Rip On Through” is horticultural freak-out couplets (“For you, for you, there’s nothing I can do/ The sun went black and your hand came back/ But your garden never grew”) in the guise of infected synth line. Does the record sag in the middle? What soggy log doesn’t? But if you stick your ears to that smelly wood, you get the loll-funk of “Mr No One” (released as a 7-inch collab with Ariel Pink), gum stuck to both kinds of lobes, and something like life looking up: “I should get a little more sunshine/ Should keep a little less haze around me.”

Seeds exposed, bloom. Blooms exposed, die. Panic Blooms is a long overdue sound from a project that sees the absurdity in holding onto feelings while desperately trying to feel. It’s borderline pop, And I don’t care/ If you don’t need me” and “I hope you’re here when I fall through.” It’s scary and funky and dazed and wonderful and stuck in your head, until you hear it out in the world. And it feels like a weed, and it looks like a flower.

Tomorrow they’ll start building the house, maybe.

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