VIDEO OF THE DAY: Empty Moon "Dear Life"
While it's hard to complain about carving out a decent living in a place like Seattle, there isn't a week that goes by where some little innocuous thing pops up and tugs at my heart strings to remind me of my hometown of Kansas City. All political shortcomings aside, Kansas City is where I grew up and is the place I feel the most at home. After six years in Seattle, I still have a tendency to feel a lack of history in this place, and a lack of historical context for the incredible things that I know have happened here, and times where my existence here merely feels like a wonderful lucid dream that I'm sure I'll wake up from someday.
Long story short: I love you, Seattle, but Kansas City will always be the place that made me.
I'm guessing fellow Kansas ex-pat Brendan Hangauer feels pretty similar these days. Having relocated to the Bay Area after years in Lawrence, Kansas fronting local favorites Fourth of July, Hangauer obviously still feels that calling back home (or at the very least, the acknowledgement of the uncertainty of the new ground below one's feet). Debuting his new project (Empty Moon), Hangauer wanders aimlessly through the desert in an Andrew Wiggins jersey, lamenting over life's swift changes, his old college days and being a stranger in a new town. Sometimes a line hits you in your bones, and hearing Hangauer's closing confession that "you said you wouldn't miss the seasons but now you do" gave me chills.
Hangauer has always been a plain-spoken, confessional songwriter, but my early impression is Empty Moon has a bit more musical weight to it, shifting the focus of his compositions away from the sugary pop blasts of Fourth of July and into a deeper, more melancholic place. It's a good look, for sure.