The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo was recorded during May of 2016 in various locations across Los Angeles County, and features string arrangements by Heather Lockie.
It came on as a panic, a car wreck, shivering and sudden liquefaction. You tried to hold it, to tend and cradle the damn thing like a child. But injury would only yield to injury. You stood in the darkened theater. The beam of a projector sliced toward you down the center aisle and struck the bag of dry rice in your arms with an image of a factory fire.
Tender chiding and all manner of suggestion wouldn’t give pause to the restless flicker. One moment you knew you weren’t holding the ghost of an infant horse kicked dead in a desperate moment by its own mother. The next moment you knew you weren’t holding a hunk of ornate driftwood. Not the head of a handsome purebred dog. Not a scene of two brothers wrestling in the backseat of the car. Not a honeybee drowning in the pink berry smoothie you brewed to wake up by.
But the images were plain. Your refutations were beside themselves in the midst of a plan for things arrayed in light.
Of course, you know the drill already. An organized understanding — pristine, therefore human — passes through a body on its wild, transmuting way from abstraction to matter careening through a minefield of physical laws. Value extracted at every turn. It’s a small and simple thing, just longer than a half hour of recorded music. Dressed in garlands of inherited words. Modest pools of rainwater punctuating the young volcanic expanse, marbled with fuel slicks.
The Unborn Capitalist is a secret that didn’t need to be kept — conceived of and executed while a droughted Southern California autumn became a droughted winter, became a droughted spring, rolled on toward a broiling summer. It marks the disintegration of a long and dear coupling. It marks a domestic rhythm traded for a touring circuit, for these shrinking obsessions and all their shadowy company. You turn the topsoil of an ordinary childhood pocked by its needling wounds, you compost it with the dead leavings of your meals, you try to make new space for the promise of seedlings. You move back in with your mom. You wake up each day and let the pets out to sniff around and stalk insects back and forth across the fenced-in yard.
Accordingly, records like this accumulate. Life calls for music, for lyric, and if you can somehow handle them without needing to possess them, they echo back again as life, vital in its total excess. Hanson’s lyrics here are his best to date. By turns naked, leering, playful, evasive, they present a mute, parading statuary — doughy figures waltzing in doomed configurations through bleeding watercolor backdrops across terrains of tangled information. The music is gorgeous and livable. Every surface threatens with the promise of an untold depth; every depth threatens to collapse into a surface. Every place you ply a solution turns out to be an intractable edge. You go looking for the soul, but there is no soul— just the things you had to lift to look behind. Children of Limbo, we are gathered here around a floor lamp, a darkening purple desert stretching out in every direction.
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