I have this pal who insists that all writers, all makers, all people who put anything in the world outside of themselves – we should all come to terms with the fact that nothing we do is finished. An acceptance, this pal says, that will bring so many of us closer to contentment with the fact that we sometimes age beyond whatever it is we create, and there’s no real way to adjust for that except to honor our emotional evolution and the work that allowed us to crawl our way towards it.
I’m not always invested in this idea as I should be, admittedly, but there’s something I love about knowing that the work can be revised as I revise the self, or that old work can be tended to in the search for new work.
But before I get into all of that, the high-reaching impact of aging beyond our creations and aching for corrections before they slip through their fingers, let me say that most importantly, I love any Illuminati Hotties album because Sarah Tudzin is one of my favorite types of writers: A writer who takes their craft seriously, but refuses to take themselves seriously. It is an achievement for album to hold a song as fluorescently tender as “Threatening Each Other,” teeming with an ever-growing longing and also a song as raucous and thrilling as “Pool Hopping,” which feels and sounds like the unfurling of a mischievous summer’s night with nothing to do other than cause some trouble with yourself and a small and eager crew.
To retreat to my initial point, though, what makes this album even more of an achievement is how the album arrived in the world and what it carries with it. For those who fell in love with Free I.H., as I did, you perhaps were drawn to it, as I was, by the miracle of an album that sounded unrestricted and autonomous. Not messy in an unrefined way, but messy in a way that was held up by risk-taking, and discovery.