If Portland is where young people go to retire, then Olympia is where freaks go to do as much. Olympia is a strange, stubborn streak of a city that’s come to embody much of what I love about the ethos of the Pacific Northwest as a whole. That ethos orbits around a state of refusal — a refusal to do things one way just because that’s how they currently exist. It’s fueled by the necessary pride required to go against the grain, and many people like to leave it there, convinced this purposeful independence boils down to pure arrogance. But they’re not factoring in the humility of failure, or obscurity, that this outsider existence often imposes. Either way, that’s the ethos Gun Outfit was born out of, and that liminal space is where they exist, wherever they might move.
If Olympia is for freaks-in-retirement, then Gun Outfit are doing things backward by decamping to Los Angeles. Emerging from the slow sleepiness of the Northwest, in October they’ll release their first record outside of former No Age drummer Dean Spunt’s Northwest DIY label Post Present Medium. Despite their Marxist inclinations, Gun Outfit are perhaps more fixedly involved in the capitalist market than ever before with the release of this fourth record Dream All Over. (Absolutely no judgement passed from down here, in New York City’s thriving digital publishing content mines.) But if you’re going to burden your living reality with the complications that capitalism imposes, there’s few better choices in that realm than Paradise of Bachelors, who will release their latest album.
They’ve previously shared the tense transcendentalism of album opener “Gotta Wanna,” and today we’re premiering the closing track off the record, “Only Ever Over.” It’s postmodern malaise re-imagined as simple country dream poetry, languid and crawling with ennui. Dylan Sharp salutes his namesake with figure eight phrasing, and Carrie Keith’s dreamcatcher alto is always just around the corner, blowing on the coals of the chorus till they catch fire. “Out here on the West Coast / Where the ocean eats the sun,” Sharp drawls on the track, ensconcing our home coast’s power in the Pacific’s savage appetite. Sometimes that’s how the West Coast feels too, like it’s the end of the world, or like it’ll swallow all your days and stay hungry for more. Gun Outfit get that, and they’ve harnessed that zeal, slowed it down to a trickle of regret and lost time. When rock and roll is over, even when the dream really is all over, that coast will still be there. Stoic and weird as ever. Inside of that inevitability is where this song really lives, and that’s why Gun Outfit’s music has always been so necessary. It exists freely, even if we can’t. Listen below.
Here’s the full Dream All Over tracklist:
01 “Gotta Wanna”
02 “Legends Of My Own”
03 “Matters To A Head”
06 “Came to Be”
07 “Scorpios Vegas”
08 “Pass On Through”
09 “In Orbit”
10 “Blue Hour”
11 “Worldly Way”
12 “Only Ever Over”
Dream All Over is out 10/16 via Paradise of Bachelors. Pre-order it here.