I really hate talking about Minnesota winters to people in Los Angeles.
Every year, the entire state is entrapped beneath a blanket. Not a warm, fuzzy blanket. A cold, ragged, and sharp blanket. We call it winter and there is nothing more dark and sad than a Minnesota winter. There is nothing nice about temperatures dipping well below 0, and wind chills that scrape the lower extreme of regulation thermometers. There is nothing more dark and sad than a Minnesota winter.
You can enjoy the snow, until it freezes into an icy, jagged layer of danger. You can enjoy the sun until the wind rips through every layer of clothing you have on. You enjoy your vacations all you want, but you always have to return to the dark and sad Minnesota winter.
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. It comes in the latest phase of winter, just before the sun melts the snow. It’s a breeze. You step outside one day, ready to brace yourself against that terror of a wind, but instead, it’s unusually calm. You tentatively pull your scarf down, and as you take the first few steps you’re hesitant. The breeze is gentle. Playful. Maybe even warm. You pull your hood down. It ruffles your hair. You take a deep breath in. Smile. Minnesota looks the same, dark and sad, but this breeze whispers lullabies of a silver lining, a golden spring. And in this moment, you leave behind you all the frostbitten memories of the dark and sad Minnesota winter and you begin the climb to spring, and summer.
I have never heard a more perfect audible representation of this whole cycle than Morly’s debut EP, “In Defense Of My Muse.” It starts off dark, disparate, desolate (“You Came To Dis Sky”). Confused, maybe. Then restlessness and anxiety sets in (“Seraphese”). And then the breeze, the whisper, and then, spring (“And Sooner Than We Know It…”). “Drone Poem” is the song I have wanted to sing to Minnesota since I left just over a year ago, a goodbye song, and a confession that, all along, I was never meant to stay.
This is why I hate talking about Minnesota winters to people in Los Angeles, because for as much resentment as I hold toward Minnesota, I rose from the dark and sad winters, they shaped me, and they made me strong. Minnesota has been, and will continue to be my muse, and no matter where I go, or how far away I am, it will always remain a part of me.