‘Everyone’s Crushed’: Embracing absurdity, finding beauty in the paradox of life


Courtesy of Wiki

Water From Your Eyes’ released its most recent album, “Everyone’s Crushed” in late May.

Oh my word, the human existence is an irrational one. From the confusing sprawl of one’s individual state of being, to the external events that life throws at them, a common – and quite frankly understandable – reaction is a dispirited “why?” Despite this, man’s perpetual need for rationalization is only a curse in an existence of absurdity, and is not an answer to life’s throes. 

Instead, the most beneficial reaction is to truly accept the seeming lack of coherence in the world, and only in that can one attempt to attain happiness. Water From Your Eyes achieves this thought in their new album “Everyone’s Crushed,” combining disjointed melodies and choppy instrumentals with curious lyrics, creating a musical emblem of absurdist philosophy. 

Made up of vocalist Rachel Brown and producer Nate Amos, Water From Your Eyes have been making music together since 2016, but until now they have not put out an album with such a clear thematic through line: accepting the paradoxical nature of life. Despite numerous lines of lyrics that seem to make no sense at all, Brown conveys their mind fantastically, the difficult lyrics working in favor of their absurdist attitude. “One, two, three, four / I count mountains,” Brown sings early on the track “Barley,” communicating a sense of severe unattainability. The music itself is bewildering, as guitar lines of varying dissonance buzz in and out over a “Bull In the Heather”–esque egg shaker. It sounds like the inside of Sisyphus’s head if he had multiple peaks to scale.

Just like the character from the myth, Brown still decides to push the metaphorical boulder, despite the fact that the end goal of a perfectly happy and harmonious life is impossible. Although knowledgeable of this impossibility, they still hold onto to a sliver of hope, finding satisfaction in the continuous journey. Because Brown has submitted to this fate they are frustrated with those that have not done the same, as seen on “True Life.” In it they tell the story of someone who has pessimistically given up on the passage, stating “You won’t even ask the question / heaven / can I make it / recreate it / bend and shape it till it ends again.” In juxtaposition to the song’s subject – whose submission to rational thought has hindered them from happiness – Brown has twisted the world’s definition of irrationality on its head by trying to achieve a goal as impossible as heaven.

Much of Water From Your Eyes’ ability to accept the absurdity of life is in their capacity to succumb to the effects of love. An attempt at an explanation of love, or why one loves something or someone, often results in an astonished silence. Just like the world they live in, Brown’s experiences with love are illogical, and because they understand this they are truly able to feel it, to a grand extent. Brown solidifies that “everything is love” on “Everything’s Crushed,” exemplifying an enlightened association with the feeling, allowing them to exist in harmony. “And with everything to love / so anything goes,” Brown states as the song divulges into glitchy perplexity.

Brown also shares more intimate moments of love on “Everything’s Crushed”, specifically in “Remember Not My Name,” which focuses on a more interpersonal connection, whether it be with a lover or a friend. Stylistically, the song pairs well with subject matter, as it plays like a love ballad, utilizing a slow dance tempo and the album’s most melodic elements. The story’s characters know and love each other very well, and because of this they are unfortunately able to dig wounds into each other of a depth that the average person couldn’t.

Despite the fact that love is Brown’s form of reconciliation with life, it has also caused them insurmountable pain. There is a maddening cyclicality to the nature of love and life, that causes one to constantly move through its effects. 1. Life is painful, and this makes it difficult to proceed 2. Love can help one to persist 3. Love often, if not always, causes pain. Brown does not discredit the instability of the thing they cherish most, though, instead they note that said instability is exactly what makes the human experience so beautiful. “There are no happy endings / only things that happen,” Brown sings on the album’s final track. So, when stuck in a bout of trying to find meaning in life, do what Brown does and go to sleep and wake up and keep on living.