THE MILLION REASONS – EP Review: “If Not for the Fire”

The Million Reasons If Not For the Fire

One of my favorite indie rock bands is Chicago-based The Million Reasons. I became a fan of theirs the instant I heard their magnificent song “Dizzy” in the summer of 2018 (I love it so much it ended up at #69 on my 100 Best Songs of the 2010s list). I’ve closely followed this talented group of guys ever since, and have featured them a number of times on this blog. (You can read my previous reviews by clicking on the links under “Related” at the bottom of this page.) Having five members, including two guitarists, their sound is dynamic, heavy and melodic, and consistently delivered with killer riffs, tight rhythms and powerful vocals. 

I was sad to learn their vocalist Scott Nadeau left the band last August but, fortunately, they quickly found a phenomenal replacement in Taylor Brennan, a close friend of band drummer Colin Dill. Brennan is also vocalist for Chicago alt-rock band Polarizer (they’re pretty terrific too, so do check out their music). In addition to Brennan and Dill, the other band members include guitarists Mike Nichols and Ken Ugel, and bassist Jason Cillo. Brennan brought not only his vocal talents, but also his great songwriting skills and years of experience, which have expanded The Million Reasons’ musical horizons quite nicely. Whereas their music has primarily been classic rock/rock’n’roll oriented, some of their new songs venture more into progressive rock territory. They’ve also employed additional instrumentation, including keyboards and cello, into some tracks, giving them a fuller and richer sound.

With that in mind, the band set to writing and composing a huge array of songs, four of which they’ve selected for their new EP If Not for the Fire, which dropped February 21st. The songs are rather dark, with brutally honest lyrics that the band describes as “a study of separation and self-discovery.” The EP was beautifully produced by band guitarist Ken Ugel, along with Nick Stetina and Noam Wallenberg, and flawlessly mixed and mastered by Stetina. The other band guitarist Mike Nichols designed the artwork.

They kick things off with the title track “If Not for the Fire”, a bombastic, high-energy rocker that clearly shows the band hasn’t lost their stride. The song opens with a brief flurry of fuzzy guitars and Dill’s power drums, then Cillo lays down a funky little bass solo before everything erupts into a barrage of thunderous musical mayhem, and we’re off to the races. The guys unleash their inner beasts, setting the airwaves aflame with fiery riffs, throbbing bass and explosive drumbeats. Brennan quickly dispels any doubts I may have held regarding the issue of a new vocalist, blowing me away with his incredible vocals. He literally raises goosebumps as he fervently wails the lyrics that speak of his need for an intense, almost obsessive kind of love that thrills and excites: “I came for the curse of / I came for the kiss of / A love divine that paralyzes / What did you come for / If not for the fire to light you up this way.”

The fantastic video, filmed and directed by Philip Goode, shows Brennan seated at a table, struggling to write (something I can identify with as a music blogger), juxtaposed with scenes of the band performing the song and working their magic with their respective instruments. Their energy and charisma are strongly evident.

“Pretty Ones” is a brilliant track, with a complex melodic structure and intricate, yet powerful  instrumentation that give it a monumental prog-rock feel. The dual guitars of Nichols and Ugel are really spectacular here. The lyrics explore the restlessness that exists in some of us – the internal struggle between putting down roots in one place or with one person vs. the desire for eternal freedom and believing the grass is greener somewhere else or with someone else, but also fearing that perhaps we’re just running away from ourselves: “Ever after chasing down the pretty ones / Right back to the place where I am running from / In motion, stuck in motion / I fear it’s just my nature.

The guys slow things down on “No North Star”, a gorgeous but melancholy ballad about a man at the end of his rope, ready to give up all vestiges of hope. The song starts off with a mournful cello and beautiful acoustic guitar, as Brennan forlornly laments about mistakes he’s made: “Four on the floor / As the shower head pours heat on me / Praying to the god of sorry / I’m sure she has questions for me.” Gradually, a lovely piano enters along with more guitar, drums and bass, all of which grow more expansive as the song progresses until reaching a dramatic crescendo at the end, at which point Brennan passionately implores: “Stare in the sunken-in eyes of a ghost of a shell of a half of a half of a man / Saying what good can I be if I couldn’t be better for you / I couldn’t lie when you asked me to lie / But I’ll die if you ask me tonight / I’m going to die anyway / I might as well do it for you.” Though I love all four tracks, “No North Star” is my favorite.

“All You Can Afford” is a dark and heavy kiss-off to a lover who’s pushed the relationship beyond the breaking point: “I’m taking the keys to my heart and your car / I’ll leave you behind / Hoping you’ll find all that you can’t afford / My love, anymore.” The guys deliver blistering riffs and a torrent of hard-driving grooves during the first two-thirds of the track while Brennan sings the lyrics. The music then transitions to an almost cinematic instrumental for the outro, finally ending with a harsh, increasingly loud static-like sound in the final 30 seconds that seems to symbolize a rather violent end – of the relationship perhaps?

If Not for the Fire is a wonderful little fireball of an EP (sorry for the bad pun, but hey, it perfectly describes the work) that packs quite a major punch in it’s 16-minute run time. I love The Million Reasons, and am thrilled to see them continue to grow and evolve through time and personnel changes, something not all bands are able to successfully navigate. Drummer Colin Dill told me they’ve written about 20 new songs, and I cannot wait to hear them!

Connect with The Million Reasons:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud / YouTube
Purchase:  Bandcamp / iTunes / Amazon

Top 30 Songs for February 23-29, 2020

1. MIGHT BE RIGHT – White Reaper (1)
2. EVERYTHING I WANTED – Billie Eilish (4)
3. NOVOCAINE – The Unlikely Candidates (3)
4. ORPHANS – Coldplay (2)
5. WARS – Of Monsters and Men (6)
6. THE BEST – AWOLNATION (9)
7. 2ALL – Catfish and the Bottlemen (8)
8. UNEVENTFUL DAYS – Beck (10)
9. USED TO LIKE – Neon Trees (12)
10. YOU? – Two Feet (7) 19th week on list
11. WHITE LIES & PALM TREES – The Lovepools (5) 20th week on list
12. DON’T START NOW – Dua Lipa (19)
13. DANCE OF THE CLAIRVOYANTS – Pearl Jam (20)
14. LIFE IN THE CITY – The Lumineers (15)
15. HOW WE LIVE – Mandalan featuring Cadence XYZ (16)
16. VAN HORN – Saint Motel (17)
17. MARINERS APARTMENT COMPLEX – Lana Del Rey (18)
18. THE RUNNER – Foals (11)
19. ADORE YOU – Harry Styles (21)
20. LOVE YOU FOR A LONG TIME – Maggie Rogers (22)
21. CAN’T STOP – Vox Eagle (24)
22. UNCHAINED – Devon Gilfillian (25)
23. BLACK MADONNA – Cage the Elephant (26)
24. REWARD – Paul Iwan (13)
25. BLIND LEADING THE BLIND – Mumford & Sons (14)
26. LOST IN YESTERDAY – Tame Impala (28)
27. COLORS – Black Pumas (29)
28. TEXAS SUN – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges (30)
29. HERO – Michael Kiwanuka (N)
30. NIGHT TIME – Isolda (23)

New Song of the Week – THEMORETHANEVERS: “Stubborn Dreamer”

Themorethanevers

Themorethanevers is the music project of Santa Cruz, California-based electronic producer and composer Wayne Brown. Skillfully blending elements of atmospheric chill, trip hop, EDM and soulful R&B, the creative and imaginative young artist weaves lush and mesmerizing soundscapes. As an aside, when I asked Brown about his unusual moniker, he explained, “Themorethanevers is an idea that anyone can be more than they ever felt is possible. Believe it or not, it actually originated from a Daft Punk cover video [of their song ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’] called ‘Daft Hands’. When I was a kid I was obsessed with performing the daft hands video. I realized that if you held your hands a certain way, it’s spelled ‘morethanever’. I fell in love with the name.”

Last year he started releasing a series of singles, beginning with “Simple Things”, followed by the enchanting double single “Seascape/An Angel’s Dream of Sleep”. In early January, he dropped his brilliant little EP Bionic, and now returns with a wonderful new single “Stubborn Dreamer“, which I’ve chosen as my New Song of the Week. The song is a collaboration with Oakland-based vocalist and close friend Grace D, and features added vocals by South African rapper Killa-Stryder.

Grace D
Grace D

Themorethanevers explains that there’s a specific purpose behind the song: “In ‘Stubborn Dreamer’, we speak of the complex relationships new artists have with their loved ones. It’s often hard for the ones who are so protective of us to see us as the artists we are, refusing to believe in our visions as artists who can make a great impact on our communities. We are stubborn artists, resisting all obstacles that may come our way in order to pursue a dream. Our goal for this track is to encourage people to continue striving for their [own] interests and develop their sense of self. We all have dreams. We just want the ones around us to see our dreams the way we do. Encourage and support the artists you know and love.”

Against an enchanting backdrop of glittery synths, Themorethanevers layers a sensual trip hop beat, which serves to not only drive the song forward, but also pulls us quite willingly into a dreamy atmospheric soundscape. With a sultry vulnerability to her vocals, Grace D softly croons of breaking free of people who hold you back from realizing your dreams and full potential, and knowing that ultimately, one has to be able to make it on their own:

Temporary babies fucking with the fish and crazy
But my focus nearly hazy
But then let them go, unfaze me
Sadness never leaves your face
Dreaming happy endings
How long til you say
I got this on my own
Scared to think of ways to grow
Push me and direct me

Then Killa-Stryder enters, rapping his verses in response to those sung by Grace D. He expresses his regret for mistakes he made in their relationship, but also asks for her forgiveness and a second chance. While acknowledging that he misses the sex, he also states that he misses her on an emotional level, and asks whether she thinks he helped her reach some of her own goals:

Girl I really miss your vibe
I’m really hoping that the love is still alive
I’m really thinking about being in between your thighs but
Please don’t compare me to all the other guys
Cause your lovin’ was a blessing
I heard you got scared girl
I really got the message
If I was honest with you then you wouldn’t have left me
Your mind is what really I’m really obsessed with

Before we part ways, there’s a few things I gotta ask
Like was it worth it?
Did I help you reach your purpose?
Why does love with someone always hurt me?

The song ends with a flourish of harsh industrial synths, abruptly ending the dreamy vibe. It’s a superb track.

Follow Themorethanevers:  TwitterInstagram
Stream his music:  SpotifySoundcloudApple MusicYouTube
Purchase:  Google PlayAmazon
Follow Grace D on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gracekobayashi/
Follow Killa-Stryder on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kamikaze_monsuta/

THE AMERICAN MAN – Single Review: “The Last Valentine”

The American Man

“You live / You Love / You Learn / And You Lose.” A pretty cynical observation about the nature of life, this, but these words were in fact an impetus for the man who wrote them to change his life going forward. So states the Chicago-based singer-songwriter and musician who goes by the moniker “The American Man”. Like a lot of musicians who choose to identify themselves with an artistic moniker rather than their given names, he desired to disappear behind the name and have his songs speak for themselves.

He’s a massive Bob Dylan fan, and as such his music and sound is heavily influenced by Dylan, both musically and lyrically. His music consists only of his acoustic guitar and harmonica, and his lyrics are poetic, honest and heartfelt. And what’s more, his vocals sound alarmingly similar to Dylan’s, right down to their raspy texture and pitch.

In November 2019, he released his marvelous debut album Life & Times of Thomas Francis Bernasol, featuring eight tracks that touch on aspects of life, love and loss identified in the opening words of this post. On February 14 he appropriately dropped his latest single “The Last Valentine“, an understated, yet magnificent song which I’m pleased to feature today. He explained the song’s background:

The song was written four years ago this very week. Trump wasn’t yet in office, mass shootings were taking place, tension was in the air, and I was waking up in the middle of Chicago on Valentines day on the street. It was 15 degrees or so, and I walked across the city in the cold. My wallet was stolen and my phone was stolen and I was bleeding down my head. Halfway home I laid down in an alley and cried. But I wasn’t jumped; I was in the deep end of my alcohol and drug problems that stretched on relentlessly for five years. And then I got sober, let go of song writing, put this song on the back burner and had to do the hard work work of building my life. I spent three years off the internet, and a few weeks ago it dawned on me that I had this song tucked away. So I dug through several hundred pages of old lyrics over a few hours to find it, set up my iphone and hit record. Then I thought I gotta share it with the world, so I bought a lap top and made this video. I thought that the song was interesting because [even though] it’s four years old, it still holds up.”

“The Last Valentine” is inspired both melodically and lyrically by Bob Dylan’s 1962 song “Let Me Die in My Footsteps”, which Dylan wrote after he watched construction workers building a bomb shelter one day. He was struck by the insanity of peoples’ upside-down reasoning during the Cold War – that instead of us learning how to live, we were learning how to die. In that same vein, The American Man explores the similar irrational, hateful and destructive thinking occurring in America today:

I met a young boy who was free in his soul
They beat him so bad and left him dead on the road
But he stood up and walked led by his mind
He stumbles on home as the last Valentine
As he wars through the ruse
You live, you love, you learn and you lose

I watched all the red-blooded American folk
Swallow their leader and violently choke
And neath their red eyes was a heart filled with hate
If you do not act soon it might be too late
There a war without truce
You live, you love, you learn and you lose

Outside the Trump rally
Within the great wall
A homeless man fell to all that he saw
And with his stained shirt he wipes his watery eyes
Some are learning to live, some are learning to die
Oh young boy here’s old news
You live, you love, you learn and you lose

All incredibly powerful and brilliantly-written words that deeply resonate with me! For the compelling and provocative video, he used footage of actual events and scenes and images from popular films and music videos (some of which may result in removal due to copyright infringement, though I certainly hope not). Take a look and have a listen:

Connect with The American Man: Twitter / Instagram
Stream his music: SpotifySoundcloudApple Music
Purchase:  Google PlayAmazon

AMONGST LIARS – Single Review: “Over and Over”

Amongst Liars Over & Over

I’ve stated it numerous times on this blog, but it bears repeating yet again that some of the best rock music being made today is coming from the UK. Almost on a weekly basis, I come across another band or two making a name for themselves in a very crowded field, and today I have the pleasure of introducing an exciting new band with a terrific name – Amongst Liars. They recently released their spectacular debut single “Over and Over“, which I loved at first listen and must share with my readers.

Based in the Brighton/Eastbourne area along the southern English coast, Amongst Liars was formed in September 2019 from the ashes of two bands – Saint Apache and Katalina Kicks. Both were successful bands in their own right, and actually met in 2016 when they shared the same bill at a show in Manchester. After the vocalist of Saint Apache left in April 2019, and Katalina Kicks broke apart a few months later when one of its members decided to leave the UK, KK vocalist Ian George joined the three remaining members of Saint Apache to form Amongst Liars. In addition to Ian, who also plays guitar, the other band members include Leo Burdett (guitar, backing vocals), Ross Towner (bass, backing vocals) and Adam Oarton (drums). Given they’re all accomplished musicians, they hit the ground running and wasted no time writing and recording new music.

Amongst Liars2

Drawing influences from some of their favorite bands like Rage Against The Machine, Every Time I Die, Buckcherry, Guns N’ Roses, Crass, Heavens Basement, Cancer Bats, and Audioslave, they play an aggressive and melodic style of hard rock. “Over and Over” is a rampaging monster of a track. With Ross’s intense buzzing bass line serving as a powerful driving force, Leo and Ian serve up killer riffs of gnarly guitars while Adam pummels his drum kit like a man hellbent on destruction. The guys are really impressive musicians, and Ian is a vocal beast, practically spitting the lyrics as he furiously rails; “We don’t need to beg no more. We don’t need to beg. Make time for this! Yeah, yeah, yeah – over and over we run!”

The lyrics are somewhat ambiguous, but seem to be a bitter indictment against the numbing mind-control of technology and societal pressures to conform and be ‘productive’. The artwork for the single shows a man on a treadmill, surrounded by naked men lying facedown, their backs open to reveal inner machinery, along with a scattering of wheels that appear to have fallen off a cog.

One line for the memory
One love for the soul
I don’t care for the harmony
I don’t write for the show

One love for this jealousy
I feel bad for you son
No time for your remedy
So we dance till it’s done

We don’t need to beg no more

Walk on with an energy
Hold out for the pain
No time for the feeling
Inside of the brain

One time for this heresy
In spite of the sun
One life for the strangers
They can walk, we shall run

We don’t need to beg no more
We don’t need to beg
Make time for this
Yeah, yeah, yeah – over and over we run

The fantastic video shows the band facing off what appears to be their alter ego selves as they perform the song, and really showcases their intense energy and strong musicianship. “Over and Over” is a brilliant song, and a triumphant debut for Amongst Liars. I cannot wait to hear more from this phenomenal band.

Connect with Amongst Liars:  FacebookTwitterInstagram
Stream “Over & Over:  SpotifySoundcloudApple Music
Purchase:  Google PlayAmazon

ALL TAKEN – Single Review: “Doubt”

I’ve been following Los Angeles rock band All Taken for about three years now, and have featured them on this blog as many times, most recently last November (2019) when I reviewed their terrific rocker “Monsters Anonymous”. In January they returned with their latest single “Doubt“, and it’s another explosive banger. Comprised of Daniel Daghlarian (guitar, lead vocals), Avo Karapetyan (drums, backing vocals), and David Eye (bass), the trio are skilled musicians with the power to deliver scorching riffs and hard-driving rhythms set to infectious melodies.

“Doubt” instantly blasts through the speakers with a furious onslaught of gnarly guitars, throbbing bass and smashing drumbeats. Daniel thrashes the airwaves with some aggressive shredding action as he fervently wails the lyrics that seem to be about someone breaking him down and filling him with doubt about their true intentions: “I thought I heard you in my head. You make me think I want to be your friend.” The stop-start breaks inject a nice bit of tension to the track, and I love the little guitar flourishes Daniel adds to the mix. David’s bass and Avo’s muscular drums are fantastic as well. Things slow in the bridge to a melodic interlude as he laments “What’s gonna go and break me down today? The pull, the push, the push, the pull…“, only to ramp back up for a frantic finish. All Taken have delivered another stellar tune, further cementing their status as a rock band on the rise.

They’ll be performing at El Cid in Los Angeles on Thursday, February 27.

Connect with All Taken:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Apple Music
Purchase on iTunes / Google Play

New Song of the Week – YARD OF BLONDES: “Lowland”

Yard of Blonds LOWLAND

Yard of Blondes is a French alternative rock band now based in Los Angeles. They started out as a folk pop act made up of singer/songwriter and guitarist/vocalist Vincent Walter Jacob and bassist/vocalist Fanny Hill, and after relocating to L.A., they expanded the band lineup with the addition of guitarist Burak Yerebakan and drummer Forrest Mitchell. They were featured on the 2016 compilation I love you all the time, along with Eagles Of Death Metal, Florence & The Machine, Kings Of Leon, Jimmy Eat World and many more. All the proceeds were given to the victims of the Paris attacks.

I featured Yard of Blondes last July (2019) when I reviewed their marvelously upbeat bilingual single “Je veux danser tout l’été”, along with two other alternative versions, a remix by French superstar DJ and producer Joachim Garraud, and a grungy home demo. The remix was produced in Garraud’s 100% solar-powered RV turned into a recording studio, in the middle of the Mojave desert which is documented in the music video for the song. Since then, they’ve been writing and recording new music for their first full-length album Feed the Moon, due for release later this year. The album was produced by Billy Graziadei (Biohazard, Powerflo), mixed by Michael Patterson (Nine Inch Nails, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Faith No More).

On November 1, 2019 they released the first single “You and I & I” from the forthcoming album, and returned on Valentine’s Day with a second single “Lowland“, which I’ve chosen as my New Song of the Week. The single is accompanied by the release of a wonderful video produced by Fanny and Vincent, featuring footage filmed at LAX and Disneyland on their phones. About the song, Vincent explains “‘Lowland’ depicts the dark place we always go to when we are distressed. It’s the place where all our monsters live. In the song I feel I’m going back to that dark place, but this time you’ll accompany me to get out of here, just like Orpheus going to get Eurydice from death, except here the roles are reversed because Fanny is the one who is pulling me out from inside.”

The song features chugging riffs of exuberant layered guitars, propelled by hard-driving rhythms. Vincent and Burak’s guitar work is superb, and Forrest’s drums are spot-on, assertive yet restrained where needed. Fanny lays down a solid bass line while lending her soft backing vocals to the mix. Vincent’s beautiful, plaintive vocals convey a strong sense of vulnerability as he pleads for emotional support. Everything explodes in the bridge into a maelstrom of blistering riffs and thunderous percussion, Vincent’s raw, impassioned vocals rising to the occasion, and covering me with chills. It’s a fantastic, exhilarating track.

I got a one way ticket going back to Lowland
Keep me awake before I fall into the quicksand
Every plane I take
Every train I ride
Finally always lead me to that same old place

You take my hand
Sing a lullaby
Light the fireflies
Light the fireflies

I’m on my very own land I know every corner
I know exactly where is hiding the coroner
The tiger is here
Beside the lake of tears
I know exactly though the sun never rises

You take my hand
Sing a lullaby
Light the fireflies
Light the fireflies

Drifted eyes in fear
Scary palms shaking
All around

You take my hand
Sing a lullaby
And light the fireflies
Light the fire
You make me feel alive
Pull me out from inside
Your eyes are like a lighthouse
As you feed the moon I cry

Connect with Yard of Blondes:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Apple Music
Purchase:  Google Play / Amazon

Top 30 Songs for February 16-22, 2020

1. MIGHT BE RIGHT – White Reaper (2)
2. ORPHANS – Coldplay (1)
3. NOVOCAINE – The Unlikely Candidates (4)
4. EVERYTHING I WANTED – Billie Eilish (14)
5. WHITE LIES & PALM TREES – The Lovepools (3)
6. WARS – Of Monsters and Men (8)
7. YOU? – Two Feet (5)
8. 2ALL – Catfish and the Bottlemen (10)
9. THE BEST – AWOLNATION (11)
10. UNEVENTFUL DAYS – Beck (12)
11. THE RUNNER – Foals (7)
12. USED TO LIKE – Neon Trees (13)
13. REWARD – Paul Iwan (6)
14. BLIND LEADING THE BLIND – Mumford & Sons (9)
15. LIFE IN THE CITY – The Lumineers (16)
16. HOW WE LIVE – Mandalan featuring Cadence XYZ (18)
17. VAN HORN – Saint Motel (19)
18. MARINERS APARTMENT COMPLEX – Lana Del Rey (20)
19. DON’T START NOW – Dua Lipa (21)
20. DANCE OF THE CLAIRVOYANTS – Pearl Jam (24)
21. ADORE YOU – Harry Styles (22)
22. LOVE YOU FOR A LONG TIME – Maggie Rogers (23)
23. NIGHT TIME – Isolda (15)
24. CAN’T STOP – Vox Eagle (25)
25. UNCHAINED – Devon Gilfillian (27)
26. BLACK MADONNA – Cage the Elephant (28)
27. DISSOLVE – Absofacto (17) 25th week on list
28. LOST IN YESTERDAY – Tame Impala (30)
29. COLORS – Black Pumas (N)
30. TEXAS SUN – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges (N)

DIARY OF AN OUTLAW – Single Review: “A Beautiful Woman”

DOA - A Beautiful Woman

Diary of an Outlaw (DOA) is the music project of singer-songwriter, producer and director Angel Synn. I featured him on this blog this past December (2019) when I reviewed his explosive rock single “BIGTIME”. Now he returns with a powerfully moving love song “A Beautiful Woman”, along with a deeply personal video, in honor of Valentine’s Day. Normally, Angel’s songs are hard-hitting bangers, but he slows things down here to create a beautiful piano-driven ballad with more of a country-rock feel. The piano and slide guitar are stunning, creating a dramatic and stirring backdrop for Angel’s heartfelt vocals (which sound a lot like Scott Stapp to my ears).

Angel says the song is cathartic for him. “It makes me dig deep inside my heart and speak to you my friends: Live in the moment. Love who you want. Fight for your heart. Finish what you start. Be the change in your life. Strength and guidance to do what you need to do but most of all, be true to yourself so the mirror can always be proud of the reflection staring back.”

The lyrics are a heartbreaking tribute to a woman who loved him, but he lost through his mistakes and indifference:

She’s the kind of woman you hold on to
Hold on to, a woman like that
She don’t understand why I let her go
Let her go
A beautiful woman like that

She’s the kind of woman who gives her heart
Gives her heart with all she has
And any man I know if he had the chance
Would give his all to a beautiful woman like that

She really loved me, but I really let her down
I didn’t see it, well I, I see it now

She’s the kind of woman to tell her friends
She’ll tell her friends, that’s my man
Well she’ll dance around, she’ll smile and she’ll joke all day
Your heart will melt for a beautiful woman like that

She really loved me, but I really let her down
I didn’t see it, well I, I see it now

She’s the kind of woman you can’t forget
You don’t forget a woman like that
Well years from now I know I’ll still see her face
Still taste her kiss, still hurt like this
Still hate myself for letting go
Cause you can’t forget a beautiful woman like that

The sweet video was filmed in and around Angel’s home town of Detroit.

Connect with Diary of an Outlaw:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream his music:  Soundcloud / Reverbnation YouTube

SomeRiseSomeFall feat. Anna Mitchell – Single Review: “The Rain Came Down on Everything”

SomeRiseSomeFall

SomeRiseSomeFall (SRSF) is a collaborative music project based in Cork, Ireland. The brainchild of Michael Fitzgerald, who refers to his project as “a musical eclective producing music for the human condition”, SRSF brings together a range of folk, rock and traditional Irish musicians with the aim of focusing on the transformational power of music. In addition to being all about the music, SRSF is passionate about many social issues, including raising awareness for and improving the treatment of asylum seekers in Ireland, and promoting greater awareness and understanding of mental health issues. Proceeds from SRSF’s music go towards charitable groups who are helping with both of these issues. Their music is available for download/purchase from http://www.somerisesomefall.com and all online music sites.

SRSF released their debut album Some Climb in 2017 via FITZZ Records, featuring musicians Martin Leahy, Hank Wedel, Edel Sullivan, Annette Buckley and Ger Wolfe (which you can listen to on Spotify). Now they return with a gorgeous new single “The Rain Came Down on Everything“, the first single from their forthcoming album No Simple Highway, due for release in October 2020. Fitzgerald explains the guiding philosophy of the album: “No Simple Highway is a musical attempt to connect and uplift those dealing with the challenges of love, loss and grief, and I and the musicians involved are convinced of the positive effect of connecting people to their own emotions and through this, discovering empathy and kindness.”

“The Rain Came Down On Everything” features captivating vocals and piano by Anna Mitchell (whose wonderful self-titled album I reviewed almost exactly two years ago), Brian Hassey on bass, Hugh Dillon on guitar, David Murphy on steel guitar and Davy Ryan on drums. The song was produced and mixed by Brian Casey at Wavefield Studios and mastered by Richard Dowling at Wav Mastering.  The song is a re-imagining of the original written by British musician and singer-songwriter (and founding but short-lived member of ELO) Roy Wood, and dedicated “to all who know that loss so often accompanies love“.

The instrumentals are really beautiful, highlighted by Mitchell’s sublime piano keys and Murphy’s mournful steel guitar. Mitchell has a lovely singing voice, and her heartfelt, vibrato-tinged vocals nicely convey a sense of vulnerability and sad resignation as she sings:

But the rain came down on everything
This time I really need your smile
But the rain came down on everything
I only had you for a while

The song’s languid tempo abruptly shifts in the bridge to a dramatic, almost celebratory feel, with heavier piano, guitar, bass and drums, only to calm back down to the somber opening tone that continues through to the end.

In advance of the single release, scheduled for the 28th of February, SRSF has chosen Valentine’s Day for the release of a stunning accompanying video for the song. It was directed, filmed and edited by Allie Glynn and stars Kelly Justin, who performs a powerfully moving interpretive dance that artfully expresses the raw emotion contained in the lyrics.

To learn more about SomeRiseSomeFall, check out their Website and follow them on:  FacebookTwitterInstagram