#159 – Rock And Roll Is Dead And So Am I

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Artist – Sleepwave
Album – Broken Compass
Year – 2014
Genre – Post-Hardcore, Alternative Metal

Well here I am again with a nearly brand spanking new track from what I anticipate is going to be one of the hottest new contenders in the post-hardcore and alternative metal scenes. Sleepwave is the new project of former Underoath frontman Spencer Chamberlain. Sleepwave trades the signature screams and breakdowns of Underoath for a pulse pounding and more melodic breed of metal. It’s darkly catchy and has all the elements that create a truly great hard rock song. Did I mention that this is my favorite song title of the year so far?

The pulverizing drums that open the song definitely give you a taste of what’s to come. When Chamberlain starts singing, you’re going to hear some really cool backing electronic beat effects, as well as a booming bass. As he starts slow and rises in intensity, chamberlains raspy voice definitely fits in with the like of bands like Red. It’s that big, anthemic metal sound backed by electronic.

When the chorus starts, you’ll hear just how good of a singer Chamberlain really is. The prechorus is a great, driving build up, but the melody of the chorus is one of those that feels like it shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does. The way his voice wraps around the dark and slithering notes sounds amazing over the wall of guitars and drums. It’s a classic alt-metal sound with a new twist.

Those electronic sounds add a really cool industrial effect during each verse, and the chorus is what brings the all out rock and roll. It’s a perfect blend of two great genres into one, with a singer who comes from a post-hardcore background. It even has the bombastic nature of an alternative punk band like Anberlin, who recently praised Sleepwave’s new album on their Facebook page. There’s literally nothing not to love if you’re a hard rock fan.

There is a bit of breakdown in this song, and it’s loud. It’s in your face and will most likely blow your speakers up if you play it too loud. I mean, play it as loud as you want, but just be warned. You may literally get blown away. Everything pounds, including Chamberlain’s voice. He’s giving it all, and with a quick transition to a final chorus, he closes the song with on a cathartic high note.

This song encompasses so many genres of rock, punk, and metal that I can really recommend it for anyone who gravitates to any of those. It’s an all around fantastic song with a big sound and a chorus that hooks you and yet has a dark and brooding feel all its own. I’ll tell you now, keep an ear open for this band on the radio sometime in the near future. I sense good things.

Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, and share the song with everyone you know!

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#158 – Giants

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Artist – Bear Hands
Album – Distraction
Year – 2014
Genre – Post Punk/Indie Rock

Bear Hands’ “Giants” just fell upon my ears yesterday, and I already have to right about it. It’s insanely infectious and has a groove that falls into a style all its own. Prepare your ears, because this one’s a doozy.

The soft synth and drum machine lull you into the sense that this song is going to a song to chill out to. Wrong. Well, not entirely. The song explodes with frontman Dylan Rau’s loud and bombastic speak-sing voice. This, combined with the pounding rhythm of the song just make you want to freak out. It’s frenetic and you totally get lost in the crashing drums, background synths and pulsing bassline. It’s so unique and in your face and I loved every minute of it.

After he’s calmed down a bit, Rau delivers the sweet hooks of the one line chorus:

I am loving you more

The whole lyrical aspect of the song was confusing to me at first, so I had to get some other interpretations to inform my own. I think (through all of Rau’s spastic singing and words) that the lyrics speak about a man who is revealing that, despite his flaws and odd ways, his significant other still loves him. But the main point of the song is that he loves her more. It’s kind of a fun love song when you look at it that way. It’s definitely a pick me up type of song for sure.

The melody during the chorus is simple, but totally hooktastic. That’s a technical term. The galloping beat and upbeat guitar just accentuate it. Rau’s distinctive singing actually makes it even more catchy, because you’ll be singing along in his vocal style. Well done, gentlemen.

Between now and the end of the song, there’s a really cool guitar breakdown, a bridge that leads into a spacey rendition of the chorus, with that synth that I love so much, before blasting off with a snare roll into a final chorus that will keep the good times rolling until the end.

Overall, this is a short little song that will pick up anyone’s day. Therefore, I have to cut all discretion and say that most of you out there should give this song a listen. It’s definitely worth it, and you may just discover your new favorite band. It’s a bit wacky, crazily catchy, and a fun listen all around.

Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to share this song with everybody you know!

#157 – I’ve Given Up On You

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Artist – Real Friends
Album – Put Yourself Back Together – EP
Year – 2013
Genre – Pop-Punk

My experience with Real Friends has been one of division. I’ve met many who don’t like them at all, and yet I’ve met many who adore them. I don’t know if I would fall into either of those categories, though I certainly do like the band and their extremely colloquial, relatable brand of of songwriting. This song speaks in the language of us at our darkest times, and it’s very moving to hear words from a band that you may have spoken yourself at one point in time. It’s one of the most emotionally raw tracks I’ve heard in a very long time, but I think that’s why so many cling to songs like this, including myself.

The whole song consists of only vocals and guitar, which in this case speaks a lot louder than a full band. It puts the words and music on such a personal level. The whole feel of this song is one on one. The clean tone of the guitar throughout the song keeps the mood low and subdued when it needs to be, like the opening lines of each verse, which singer Dan Lambton sings with melancholic passion. The quick picking transitions to hard strumming when Lambton ramps up his anguish during certain lines, and this will give you chills.

The best way to analyze this song is how the music directly ties to the absolutely amazing lyrics, written by the band’s bassist Kyle Fasel. First of all, the prechorus is one of the hardest hitting lyrical passages in the song:

I write songs about you all the time
I bet I don’t run through your mind

That last line in particular is what all of us think when a relationship with a significant other has ended. All we want is for them to think about us and take everything back that they said and did, because if only they knew how much we loved and cared about them. I think that one line, as simple as it is, perfectly encapsulates those feelings, perhaps on both sides of the breakup. The way Lambton sings that line is pure brilliance. It’s soft, almost humble. He is laying himself down at the feet of someone he would do anything for, and you feel that.

If you don’t feel it there, you’re absolutely going to feel it during the chorus:

I’ve given up on you,
But it still hurts to know you’re not alone
Don’t worry,
I’ll keep out of your life and stay awake at night

This is the most real capturing of the late nights after a breakup I’ve ever heard. Writing lyrics like this must not be easy, but it touches so many people who are hurting and who have been hurt. Those nights are some of the worst of your life, but words like these let you know that there are many others who have felt the same. The guitar here picks up in intensity, and Lambton lets it all go. It’s a burst of anguish and sadness that cuts you deep. His grit and raspy undertones show his intensity, and his imperfection. He’s human after all, and it hurts all the more.

The second verse returns to the reserved singing style and guitar, but continues with those fantastic lyrics:

It’s 4a.m. and you’re keeping me from closing these sleepy eyes
Does the thought of me keep you up at night?
Like the light on the ceiling of your bedroom
Lately, my dog’s the only one around that listens to my problems

Now I know that Real Friends use the terms “Sleepy Eyes” and “Bony Knees” a lot, but those words are things many of us can relate to. You know the feeling: it’s an ungodly hour of the morning and you just cannot sleep, no matter how hard you try. Every time you try to close your eyes, you think of that person who has broken your heart, and maybe how they might not be thinking of you, but you hope they do. If only they knew how physically and emotionally exhausted you are. They’d take you back for sure. That’s why these words hit you.

It’s been a lonely year

I can relate directly to this line. For me, it has been a very, very lonely year. I feel every word Lambton sings, and I hope many others out there know where I’m coming from with this.

The song closes out with another amazing prechorus and a final chorus that finds Lambton pushing himself to his limits. He needs to get his message across, and he will give it all to do it. The last lines echo through your head, and that’s the power of this song. That’s courage. That’s heart. It’s astonishing to hear. It’s beautiful in the way that only the heartache of life can be.

Thanks for reading, as always. Let me know what you think of the song in the comments, and be sure to share this song and blog with everyone you know!

#156 – Campfire

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Artist – Satellite Stories
Album – Pine Trails
Year – 2013
Genre – Alternative/Indie Pop/Indie Rock

If there’s one kind of music I really enjoy, it’s modern Britpop or music that is inspired by it. Bands like OneRepublic, Coldplay, A Silent Film, and Keane have that great big sound that’s bursting with lush keyboards and songs that just want to make you get up and dance and sing for joy. It’s one of the most simultaneously ebullient and melancholic kinds of music out there, and I’m so glad Satellite Stories decided to carry on that tradition. This young band from Finland has created a beautiful and rich song that’s worth dancing to.

The song starts out slow and soft, with only the backing “oooh” chorus that stretches throughout the song. Soft guitar then comes in to back frontman Esa Mankinen’s soft and gentle voice and a melancholic melody. The drums build up until the song bursts to life with an instrumental chorus and a taste of what’s to come. You’re going to want to dance now.

The pulsing verses feature some really cool bass work and a some twinkling guitars, but mostly stay on the minimal side. The band wants to really let it out during the chorus, which it does not take long to get to at all. Even Mankinen’s singing is more subdued here, but it’s about to go down. When I say down I mean get awesome up in here.

This chorus is an absolute winner. Everything shimmers and shines. The guitar is loud and powerful, and creates this great wall of sound that just immerses you. The dance beat being played by the drums…well, it just makes you want to get down and let loose. Meanwhile, the bass is thumping and Mankinen’s voice hits those glorious falsetto jumps that gives you shivers. The whole chord progression here is what I like to call the “sad, yet hopeful” progression. It conveys a sense of longing and sensitivity, but the way it rises at the end always brings back that hopeful aftertaste; always looking up at the finish.

The chorus is only two lines, and Mankinen is singing his affection to a girl named Delorean (not the car). I don’t know what it is, but something just hits me about this one line in the whole song:

Delorean, make me understand

There’s so much emotion and feeling packed into that one short sentence that’s hard to describe. It’s sadness, that deep longing, and love all in one. It may be short, but it’s the best line in the whole song. Words like that, combined with that lovely falsetto jump, just kill me every time.

Another verse follows up, and there’s some cool drum clicks that happen here to keep it interesting, and some backing synth sounds, but we all want to hear the chorus again. Sure enough, there’s another chorus that lays it all out again. Are your legs getting tired yet? The frantic pace continues with the bridge, which adds some awesome stuttering and pitch effects on Mankinen’s voice as he shouts to the heavens in a blast of energy. This is where the song reaches peak intensity, and a short “oooh” section leads into one last, and much appreciated, chorus to finish off.

I cannot recommend this song more for fans of bands like those that I mentioned above. You’re going to die for this one, and if you like to have a good time with a catchy song that’s flown under the radar, well then this one’s for all of you too!

Thanks for reading, as always! Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, and share the song with everyone you know!

#155 – Sweet

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Artist – The Mercy Beat
Album – The Mercy Beat – EP
Year – 2014
Genre – Synthpop

The Bravery is a band that I always really enjoyed, and as I stated in review #93 (which can be found here: https://merrymuzak.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/93-i-am-your-skin/), I’m very sad to see them go. Frontman Sam Endicott is a talented songwriter and musician, and he created a sound both in voice and music that was something unique that few bands at the time could emulate. Well, sometimes life has a way of bringing back things we think are lost forever. Enter The Mercy Beat. This is Endicott’s new project, and based on the strength of their debut EP which was released this year, I sense that same special spark I felt in The Bravery. I have high hopes for this new group, not to carry on the legacy of The Bravery, but to build on it and turn it into something amazing once again.

“Sweet” is a damn good place to start with that. From the smooth chords and powerful beats that open the track, the whole song feels like a slick ride through a lover’s reverie. Endicott’s voice is sensual and soothing, not to mention very melodic. His distinctive voice is perfect for a slower paced, flowing song like this one. The echoing guitars add that dream-like quality to the verses, and Endicott once again shows us he knows how to craft and weave amazing melodies in each line.

The keyboard adds some great extra layering to the chorus, as well as lending the synth to the synthpop sound of the song. The melody of the chorus is what’s going to hook you. It flows so well from high to low, and every note resolves beautifully. It pulls you up, then lets you down gently in just the right ways. It’s one of those choruses that is meant to be sung. Loudly. All the time.

After another verse and chorus, we hit the bridge. All the instruments take it up a notch, and the new guitar line really packs a wallop in making a great texture from here on in. The instruments drop out for a bit for a final verse, which sounds really cool with the minimal backing sound. Then the song throws everything it has in the last two verses, with the vocals ramping up in intensity and emotion. For the last thirty seconds, every instrument combines to combine over the chorus, and a final acapella ending closes out a song which I think rivals some of the best of The Bravery.

Another reason, besides the music itself, that I think this is the lyrics. There’s no official lyrics up online yet, but Endicott is clear and deliberate enough that you can hear the words well if you listen. The whole song is very beautifully written. It’s one of those songs that hits to the heart of special, intimate moments you share with a significant other. Just that sense of lying with them and enjoying the silence and each other’s presence is captured beautifully in the lyrics. Keep in mind I’m not entirely sure if these are correct, but this is what I hear. Feel free to correct me if you hear otherwise:

We are perfect here, the world has turned and left us
All alone tonight, I have no words
to describe how it feels to be lying with you
and you would never need words to tell me

and then this gorgeous chorus that captures both the sheer amount of desire and affection between a couple in both physical and emotional love

Oh kiss me now like sugar and cinnamon
Don’t speak a word, and tell me everything
Say nothing now, and we know how sweet silence sounds

It’s beautiful stuff, and it punches right to the heart of those spoken and unspoken feelings of desire, love, and affection in relationships. Not to mention it’s a damn catchy song with great talent behind it. You’re going to thank me for getting you ahead of the curve with this band, because I see big things ahead. Jump on the bandwagon now, because it’s going to be an awesome ride.

Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, and share the song with everyone you know!

#154 – Funtimes In Babylon

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Artist – Father John Misty
Album – Fear Fun
Year – 2012
Genre – Indie/Folk

Well, I officially can’t say Rolling Stone never gave me anything besides ten thousand articles on Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan to read. I found out about Father John Misty (aka J. Tillman, aka Joshua Tillman) through one of their articles. Naturally, a name like that piqued my interest and I did some digging, and lo and behold I stumble upon a phenomenal indie folk artist! Thanks RS, even if every single Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan Re-Release/B-sides/Attic Sessions/Lost Tapes release gets 4 stars every time.

The song is musically simple enough, but it has a some wonderful features that make it stand out from the deluge of similar artists out there right now. First of all, there’s a wonderful chorus that backs up Tillman throughout the song, and it really gets beautiful when they hit the chorus. The guitar and piano set the mood wonderfully during each verse, and the simple drums keep everything in line. There’s also much appreciated mandolin strumming passages in there for good measure. I mean, we have to make sure all the folk elements are in line!

However, the real draw of the song is Tillman’s vocal performance and lyricism. His voice is clear and passionate, but it has that rustic feel that gives life to the music. It’s the true folk voice. The way stretches out those first notes in the first line keeps you fully engrossed from the start.

Tillman hits full stride during the chorus. Not only is the melody crazy catchy and melancholic, but his emotion during “smoke everything in sight with every girl I’ve ever loved” cracks the air like a whip. His falsetto jump combined with the melody really gives that sense of desperation and longing that I think he’s going for. The final line of the chorus resolves everything beautifully, and Tillman’s expression of “look out Hollywood, here I come” has the melody and catharsis of both a weary sigh and a determined stranglehold.

The song as a whole is really about letting yourself enjoy life before everything comes to an end, or something bad happens to you. But the way the song is sung is a bit deeper than that. There’s a real sense of loneliness, or maybe frustration in Tillman’s voice. It’s definitely a sad song, despite the message of uninhibited choices that it presents. It’s as if Tillman is presenting all of these things ironically, except for that emotional falsetto jump line earlier. To me, his expression of love is as real as his musings get. But that doesn’t detract from the message of the song. It adds a whole new layer to it, and makes it twice as good if you interpret it in that way. It’s much more tragic and relatable that way, at least to me.

Either way you slice it, “Funtimes In Babylon” is a beautifully sung folk track that needs to be heard by everyone who can appreciate the genre! It’s a great song to add to your “Chill” playlist that I know all of you have. C’mon, don’t deny it.

Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments. Share the song if you like it!

#153 – Deadly Conversation

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Artist – State Champs
Album – The Finer Things
Year – 2013
Genre – Pop-Punk

Alright gang, it’s time for your weekly dose of pop-punk and pizza. The pop-punk I shall provide to you courtesy of State Champs. The pizza…well you’re on your own. But be advised, this review and song get 10,000 times better with a hot slice in your possession.

It’s very atypical to start a song like this with acoustic guitar, but that is exactly what happens…and it works! But right off the bat I have to say that frontman Derek Discanio’s voice is just great. It’s everything that a perfect pop-punk voice should be: loud, powerful, extremely melodic, and have that bit of emotional angst that seals the deal. Even at the beginning as he starts soft, you can tell he’s going to let it rip soon enough.

Now it’s “rock the fuck out time” as I like to call it. As the song blows up, you’re going to want to make sure you have head clearance, because you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re going to want to do some pop-punk jumps. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Every instrument in this song is so in your face and so well produced that just on an instrumental level, the song sounds good as hell. But Discanio adds so much to the song with his vocal presence and melodies. And the melodies are so, so strong here. The verses in this song are great and feature the song’s best lyricism for sure, but the pre-chorus and chorus will blow your mind with how catchy they are.

After a huge buildup, the chorus is the best part of the song for sure. Each phrase resolves perfectly, and the hooks will stick in your head like snot on a hanky. Discanio’s gets to show off his vocal chops, and his little vocal wavers sound fantastic. The harmonies here take what was already great and make it greater. Meanwhile, drums are crashing, and the guitar and bass slam on your ears like the most beautiful hammer.

The band has a great deal of talent, and you can hear how good they really are underneath each verse. Everybody is working at a fever pitch and all the energy is channeled right out. There’s a great little drop-out section in the next verse too to change things up a bit and give Discanio more show-off room.

After another thoroughly satisfying chorus, we hit the blast-beats bridge. Again, the band isn’t one to keep things same old, same old. They take all the best parts parts of pop-punk and combine them into this song. The bridge’s harmonies and pace lead perfectly into the last chorus, which shifts up the drums again for a constant crash, rather than a sporadic beat. This is exactly what I wanted to hear, and I love it when the audience gets what they want.

By the end of the song, there’s no doubt that this is one of the strongest offerings from the genre in recent memory. Every element is strong, and every piece of this machine works perfectly in tandem. This is a song you’re going to want. Go get it right now! And finish your pizza! What? You don’t have pizza? Well go get some, and THEN get the song!

Thanks for reading, as always! Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, and share the song if you liked it!

#152 – Linger

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Artist – The Cranberries
Album – Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
Year – 1993
Genre – Alternative Rock

Every time this song has come around on my listening radar, I’ve sworn I’m going to put it on the blog…and then I promptly forget. Well no more! Here is The Cranberries’ “Linger,” in all it’s 90’s ballad glory! First off, a quick shoutout to this album title. I think it’s clever and has a lot to say on its own. Anyways, now to the song.

To me, the most beautiful part of the song is the opening 30 seconds. The sharp strings and gentle, clean guitar sound mixed with frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan’s soothing and beautiful humming gives me chills every time I hear it. The melody and her voice are so passionate and they perfectly reflect the romantic and haunting nature of the song. It’s an expression of the feeling the song exudes, and that’s a unique and powerful way to open.

The driving drum beat keeps the song on track from start to finish, but it’s not overbearing by any means. In fact it has a rhythmic, gentle sound that fits like a glove. The strings in this song were a great choice, and again, it keeps to that supremely romantic atmosphere, even though the song is, ironically, quite heartbreaking.

O’Riordan’s voice is breathy and soft at first. It has this angelic quality about it that surrounds and envelops you. It’s simply lovely to hear. As each verse opens and closes, her voice swells and it’s a constant build up that pulls you toward the inevitable chorus. All the while, the band makes excellent choices for the song, including that clean guitar tone that I love so much.

The chorus is where the whole song just hits you right in the heart. The melody is catchy and bombastic, and the drums crash and the strings swell. O’Riordan lets it all out both vocally and emotionally. The harmonies and choral background add great texture, and the ending of “Do you have to let it linger” will stick in your head for a long, long time. This is also the point in the song where most people say “Oh yeah! This song! I remember this!”

The second and third verse are a bit special in my mind because the songwriting is so good at these points. Though the song sounds like a love song, and it is (kind of), it’s more about the pain of seeing someone you’ve loved and lost with someone else. It’s those “lingering” feelings of regret, pain, and that sense of attachment you still feel long after the relationship has ended. So I guess you could say that it’s more of a “lost love” song. But the lyricism in the last two verses is very well composed, and I’d like to share those with you because I truly think they capture the essence of those feelings that the band is trying to express:

Oh, I thought the world of you.
I thought nothing could go wrong,
But I was wrong. I was wrong.
If you, if you could get by, trying not to lie,
Things wouldn’t be so confused and I wouldn’t feel so used,
But you always really knew, I just wanna be with you.

The ending third of the song reiterates the chorus, with each time being better than the last. There’s a cool guitar bridge that uses some cool slide effects, but the star is O’Riordan again with her incredible use of voice. Every time she sings

And I’m in so deep. You know I’m such a fool for you

it hits you hard. That’s the power of her singing. Not only is it hooky, but it’s heartbreaking and powerful. By the end, with that same guitar strumming fading out, you’re left with that same sense of melancholy the band throws into this legendary ballad.

This song will always hold a special place for me, and I really enjoy it. I hope you all do too. It’s an incredibly moving song that backs up its words with a stellar performance on all fronts.

Thanks for reading, as always! Be sure to let me know what you thought of the song and review in the comments, and share the song if you liked it!

#151 – Let’s Just Fall In Love Again

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Artist – Jason Castro
Album – Jason Castro
Year – 2010
Genre – Acoustic Pop

Need a pick me up today? Cue Jason Castro, the former American Idol contestant/dreadlocked king of pick me up songs! I feel in a very sunny mood today, so I figured I’d spread some of that to the world with this insanely catchy ditty. Let’s dive into it!

You know that any song that starts with whistling is going to probably going to be relatively carefree and happy, so we’re on the right track already! The quick guitar strums and peppy piano set the tone wonderfully, and there’s tambourine too! It’s the triple whammy of happy songs.

Castro’s voice is very interesting to hear in the context of a pop song. It’s got some grit to it, but in that charming, boyish kind of way. He’s got the “cool surfer dude that plays his guitar on the beach” kind of vibe, but a bit more peppy. As he sings, you can’t help but smile, and all the lyrics in each verse make you go “Awwwww.” Yep. But hey, that’s what makes this song so good!

Not only is his voice smoky and blends well with the acoustic nature of the song, but it’s powerful too. During the final lines of each verse and the whole chorus, it’s that power mixed with a melody that will stick in your head like glue that hooks you. This song plays all the time where I work, and I left work with the song on repeat in my head.

This song just has a warmth and a charm about it that makes it so appealing to listen to. Castro really has a sense of innocence and happiness that’s contagious from start to finish. In the final choruses of the song, he really lets his talent shine and his voice hits the highest notes of the song and it sounds damn fantastic. Looking back on it, the whole song is cute, snappy, catchy, well sung, and captures everything I like to hear in a pop song that’s acoustically focused. He falls into the niche just as well as any John Mayer. Though he’s definitely less depressing most of the time.

If you’re looking for a supremely catchy song to put some pep in your step, look no further! Jason Castro and his cascading hair are here for you. Seriously, he probably has enough dreadlocks to make his own rope.

Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to leave a comment with your opinion on the song. Share this song with a friend (or that special someone) today!

#150 – Heirloom

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Artist – Sufjan Stevens
Album – All Delighted People – EP
Year – 2010
Genre – Indie Folk

Before we begin, just take a moment to enjoy the cat video that I posted above that’s set to this song. I literally guarantee it will make your day better both in picture and sound.

Ok, so we’re on Sufjan Stevens Pt. deux! For the second song (and my 150th review) I chose “Heirloom.” This is as much of a straightforward song as Stevens has ever written, but it’s one of his most beautiful in my opinion. It’s a gorgeous demonstration of incredible songwriting and simple, honest musicianship.

As soon as that lush guitar starts the song, I’m totally into it; hook, line, and sinker. It’s a simple D G progression, but those are the progressions that I love and that we continue to love time after time. The finger picked melody adds a lot of texture that’s absolute bliss to experience.

Stevens’ voice is again soft and earnest, but exudes that sense of vulnerability and honesty that makes him so appealing to listen to. Every word he sings you believe with all your heart, especially a part we’ll come to at the end.

For interpretations of lyrics in this one, I was a bit torn. I couldn’t decide to myself whether I thought it was a love song or a lost love song. I think it could easily be either depending on the listener and their experiences and what they decide to bring to the song. For me, I lean more towards the lost love side. From the first verse, which displays an lovely melody that just sticks with you, Stevens’ declaration of:

When your mourning has a sound
And you hesitate to laugh
How quickly will your joy pass

seems to indicate a sense of sadness or nostalgia. The whole chorus section is just an absolutely breathtaking expression of total openness and expression of love. It’s sad and melancholic, but it’s as if Stevens is admitting his faults in love to the world and now he wants to show his lover how much he truly would do anything for her. This line is especially beautiful:

And when your legs give out just lie right down
And I will kiss you ’til your breath is found

Keep in mind that all the while this incredible guitar is just keeping the song simple and open. It’s just a man and his feelings and the music, which in my mind is the rawest and most emotional form of songwriting.

The interlude after the chorus is filled a choir of beautiful “la’s” from Stevens, and adds more atmosphere to the otherwise very simple song. But the second verse is one of the times when I’ve heard Stevens at his most vulnerable and bare. He’s finally baring his soul to his love, and he truly knows himself for who he is, and as he sings these two lines, you weep for him because you believe his love is completely true and kind:

Oh no I never meant to be a pest to anyone this time
Oh no I only meant to be a friend to everyone this time

He knows himself to be a good person, but he knows he’s made a mistake. To me, that is the most sincere form of honesty. Admitting your mistakes is never easy, but you can tell Stevens is a good, kind soul deep down. It’s an expression of someone who gives so much of himself to others, but still things never seem to work out for him and he is heartbroken. It’s a sentiment that I myself can relate to very much. Not that it’s necessarily true, but I sometimes feel like he does in this song. I think a lot of us out there feel like we give a lot of ourselves, but receive very little in return, even if we don’t expect very much. In that regard I think it’s a song we all have to hear so we can relate to it in our own way.

Not only do the words stir you, but the soaring melody for those two lines will leave you breathless. It’s a cry. It’s an outburst of pure heartache that’s been pent up inside of him. It’s chilling to hear.

The final chorus section accentuates the last verse, and the song ends as quietly and as nondescript as it began. It’s a song for the moment. The moment has passed. Life continues on.

Thanks for reading my double review! If this is something you guys would like to see in the future, let me know! Until then, let me know what you think of this song! Definitely a must listen if you ask me, and I think I picked a good one for my 150th!