Artist – Family of the Year
Album – Loma Vista
Year – 2012
Genre – Indie Rock/Folk Rock
This is a bit of a special post. I literally just heard this song in the past hour and a half, and it’s already moved me to the point where I have to review it now. When I listen to music, I usually am moved by it the more I listen and draw out elements and words to apply to my own life or situation. However, a song that moves me on first listen has only occurred twice that I can think of, with the first being Lazarus by Porcupine Tree (see review #1) and this song just now. I have very few words for how absolutely breathtakingly beautiful this song is, but I’ll see if I can squeeze them out.
Let’s start with the instruments first. This is a song that flawlessly executes the notion of adding layers for building emotional effect. The simple finger picked guitar at the beginning is beautiful, but as drums, electric guitar, and finally synths and bass are added, the song only becomes more powerful and resonant. It still keeps that sense of simple honesty within its musicality, which is so, so important to the overall feel of this song, but the layers add so much to how much you are immersed in the sound.
Singer Joseph Keefe’s vocals will touch you right to your emotional core. His voice is so clear and pleasing to the ear, and his pure passion and honesty while singing is so palpable you can hold it in your hand. The melody in this song repeats on every verse, but this one…I don’t know. It’s the particular sequence of notes that Keefe sings that just gets me. It was just gorgeous, and the way the harmony and melody blended and combined perfectly created an experience that rarely happens on a first listen, but one I never get tired of having.
Part of that reaction I had comes from the stunning lyrics in this song. The lyrics speak so close to my own heart, and I feel to a lot of other men and women my age. The words talk of how we are often afraid to grow up, and afraid to face the flood of responsibility and uncertainty that life can and often does give us as we get older. We sometimes feel like we just want to stay in the lives that we are content with right now, and just hold the ones we love closer than ever. When we think about our futures, we often get frightened, because we’re only human and we have fears about the future of our loved ones and ourselves. But the world has so much beauty, and so much to offer us. Once we show the world who we are, maybe we can find the life we’ve always dreamed of.
In that regard, the “Let Me Go” is doubly resonant. It’s both a fear, and a desire to face the world. This is our life, as we find ourselves constantly pulled between too much and too little freedom. But in the end, I suppose the song is right when Keefe sings:
“Everyone deserves a chance to walk with everyone else.”
By the time this song was over, I was very emotional and a bit choked up. It’s so, so rare that a song does this, but it earns a special place in my heart once it does. This song is so simple in its construction, but unbelievably effective in its ability to stir the heart. I urge each and every one of you out there to hear this song. Listen to the message, what does it mean to you? Listen to the melody. Do you find it beautiful? Does the music move you? I hope it does, because this song deserves to be heard by everyone. Like I said before, I can only say so much about a song in words, but then again, that’s what the music is for.
Thanks for reading, and below this I’ve attached the video where i first heard the song 2 hours ago. In the context of the trailer, the song gains even more power, and I hope you all get a chance to see this film when it comes out.
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