Wallowing in Myssouri

With languid songs focusing on loss, loneliness, despair, broken dreams and other less-than-optimistic topics, it's no surprise Myssouri leader Michael Bradley ponders death daily. Cloaked in a thick sonic wash of layered guitars, lumbering bass and a bleak view of America's expansive landscape, Bradley's remarkably melodic tunes ebb and flow with pensive echoes of Gun Club, Nick Cave, the Doors and Sisters of Mercy — artists who found inspiration and solace in life's somber moments. With his head full of jarring images — crooked shadows, glistening blood, demons and hell in general — Bradley isn't the guy most likely to be the life of the party.
"That's the person I've always been," he explains. "I was the one in first grade drawing monsters. I don't understand how anyone can not be obsessed with death; not to be depressed, but as a natural facet of life. I'm interested in the transient nature of our lives and how they seem like such small flashes."
On Myssouri's new five song EP, Furnacesongs, songs like "Devil on My Shoulder" and "One Holy Thing" find religion Bradley's dark muse, sometimes explicitly, other times metaphorically. "I set out trying not to write something addressing the notion of God, or the absence of God," Bradley says, "but frustratingly I keep coming back to that. Perhaps it's something I'm working out within myself."
The edgy but graceful music, led by Bradley's rumbling voice, can be mesmerizing. But the nightmare imagery — "the silver rain lays like razor blades into the wounded miles of wheat" — doesn't emanate out of Bradley's dreams, but rather, a more mundane source. "It's not born out of any phantasmagoria, but a combination of an active imagination, along with the grim realities of the day-to-day grind."
Myssouri play the Echo Lounge during their CD release party, Sat., Dec.16.