The purpose of pinching yourself is to rediscover your presence. You're here. This is real and it's happening. You're experiencing it. You're in the middle of it, thrust into the scene like a dullard or a reluctant dancer. You cannot deny what's happening to or around you. The forefinger and thumb come together and create a little pain and suddenly you know you're there.
Canadian band The Elwins have a knack of doing the same thing, or wishing for those pinches that will bring them into some kind of reawakening. They're returned or they've stopped daydreaming so deeply. Lead singer Matthew Sweeney sings here at one point about spotting "a cloud that looks just like a dancing deer," after which he snaps out of it and returns to the land of the lucid and bill-paying. Theirs are songs of invisible rushes and of sensations that speak to us in tones that we'll never quite understand. These songs are variants on that theme of losing yourself, swinging through an imaginative romance and coming out somewhere sunny, even if you happen to be canopied by grey clouds and stale air. There's always room for embellishment and shadowy details.