All Spots to Black: In Plain Sight

Apr 15, 2012 by


For as long as I knew I wanted to start a music publication, I knew that I wanted this song to be the feature of my first public post. For those many months, I’ve been writing the accompanying text in my head, and somehow today as I type this out, all of the drafted thoughts feel wrong. Something about flickering piano keys, about a mournful, sliding guitar line, about the exquisite contemplation that sweeps through me every time I listen, an ode to the life and presence of every note. However, ultimately, this is a song about absence. It’s about desperate blank canvases and longing for something untouchable, even if it’s right in front of you.

It is human nature to fill— our calendars, our homes, our planet, our bank accounts, our bellies, our ears, our hearts. Emptiness is uncomfortable, even in quarter-note stretches. When forced into silence, our ears feel as though they’ve been tossed from the highest circus pole and are free falling, waiting for something trusty to grab onto. Even when we are as sure of what the next note will be as we are of what the ground will feel like to our plummeting feet — we need.

Between the perfect words, between the electric surges and each dripping melody, this song is rife with empty spaces. It is rife with the joke of pulling something flawless from just beyond one’s grasp: the beat, the lyric and the girl. 

There is magic in hearing a song and saying to yourself, with absolute certainty “there is no other way that this could have been made. It must be exactly as it is.” “In Plain Sight” is one of the best examples of this feeling. There is no other way to feel the starkness of separation than to fall in love with something and then listen as it disappears. A flash of beauty and bewilderment, and again please.




“Her eyes dodge, they’re so big.
One look and you’ve lost the night
But you can’t touch and you can’t reach
She’s there, in plain sight

And she’s too fluid, she’s too fast
How can you capture that?
You never had a chance
In hindsight”


All Spots to Black is a Los Angeles-based project led by Phil Krohnengold, with the lovely and brilliant support of Lucas Cheadle (Lucinda Williams, Michelle Shocked), drummer Al Sgro (Gary Jules, Alexi Murdoch) and the incredible singer / songwriter Holly Conlan.