There’s not much by way of easy viewing in the new Sun Blood Stories video. Even the included footage of peaceful suburbia, 8mm home movies and other things that aren’t war, riots, Sandra Bland, various forms of disorder and/or representations of the general awfulness of our age are tainted and made complicit by context. The message of “Misery is Nebulous” is not at all nebulous: You do not have the one without the other. Or at least we as human beings living today don’t.
I’ll admit that for me placing the song in a social strata is a new context. Appearing as the penultimate cut on last year’s continually-impressive Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), “Misery is Nebulous” is surrounded by “Moon Song: Waxing” and “Moon Song: Waning” and so deep into the band’s got-weird head-trip noisefest that to me, its linear build didn’t necessarily seem to be the cathartic pulsation that the video makes it. Apart from ambient vocalizations, I’ll also add that it has no lyrics, in my own defense, and as it’s so easy to get lost in the drones and noise of the record’s back half, I guess I thought the Boise outfit — Ben Kirby, Amber Pollard, Nik Kososik (also The Western Mystics) and Jon Fust — were freaking out for freaking out’s own sake. Turns out they were being topical.