PAUL DeHAVEN - HRS NO. 19

 Photo By V. Lee

Photo By V. Lee

Paul DeHaven writes songs about searching, letting go, and the absurdity of doing anything else. He strips us all down to what we are, animals subject to forces of nature beyond our control. Themes surrounding the nature of desire and searching for an identity recur in his lyrics. His songs are filled with a sense of exhaustion, but they uplift and reassure more than anything else. Because the secret they contain is all the things that drain us and take from us, that we hold onto in vain attempts at self-preservation, don’t matter, and squeezing tight enough is just as good as letting go. When we do that, they don’t even exist.

DeHaven’s playing style compliments his message. “Blow It All Away” is a folky blues track that’s seen and heard it all before. Nothing is too triumphant or over the top, but every bit is absolutely crafted. From the straight forward lo-fi backing drum track to the guitar chops and repeated refrain “the winds will come to blow it all away,” every inch of this song says to relax; it’s gone. “There’s no golden ticket, so hold your head up high,” captures the sentiment perfectly. We’re all already in the chocolate factory, so have a taste and don’t get too used to the weather.

“Fountain of Youth” delivers the same seasoned tone in a track that feels expertly simple and sophisticated. Twangy and spacey guitar tone backed by drums of one part heart beat one part limping march take us from the lifeless city to the forest. The track is about getting out, exploring open spaces, opening up, getting high, looking for the fountain of youth, whatever you like. But don’t get too attached to whatever you call it because “there is no absolute. There’s no fountain of youth.”