SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: WATERPENNY – Rules [Forward Motion, EP]
by Walter Price
Back in 1988, the meta before meta was cool Edie Brickell warbled, “Philosophy is a walk on slippery rocks religion/Is a light in the fog/I’m not aware of too many things/I know what I know if you know what I mean”. This is now and in their recent single “Rules”, Seattle trio WaterPenny deep think, “The instructions for our lives/Condemned to be free/made to be/Broken…The rules were meant to be broken”. The connective tissue between the two verses is the need to break free from whatever predestined mold bestowed upon us. Lyrics to live by.
The single’s video, directed by Kyle Olthoff, is, at first, reminiscent of those early to mid-80s ‘live’ in a warehouse performance clips. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the band really lets loose in an uninhibited interpretive dance or, perhaps, a drama club gone wild scene as the video comes to a close. This is to say, while the song is a poetic and sturdy philosophical jam, the band itself is making it clear that life is too short to dwell on the heaviness. If you know what I mean…
“Rules” comes from the band’s ‘Forward Motion’EP. The album is summarized in a Bandcamp post, “Wrestling complex themes together into a six-song EP about progress, WaterPenny boasts tremendous collaborations wherein members often tag-team lyrics, assigning their own meanings as needed. Alcoholism and altruism. Shadows. An attempted military coup in Thailand, seen firsthand.
“The band’s biggest concern now, however, is progress. Moving forward. Breaking the rules and becoming better. Says member Wes Speight: “I believe that you give your music to an audience of people and it’s theirs from then on. It’s not gonna be ours anymore. That’s the only thing that really makes sense to us.”
For fans of Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and/or Bread.
WATERPENNY Forward Motion
+ Rules, the video
Band photo by Courtney Roah Bowlden
WaterPenny is Wes Speight, Amy Begley, and Lane Patterson
Produced by Lane Patterson in Seattle, WA
Mixed by Jon Stinson in Nashville, TN
Mastered by Kevin Bressler at Whiney Cat Audio in Seattle, WA
Cover art by Dimitris Solomou
Video by Kyle Olthoff
Blown through wind’s love
Tarrying the tune
Memories can’t be trusted
Feelings in-flight askew
Any fool can make a rule
And my fool will mind it
The rules were meant to be broken…