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

EML’s Favorite Songs – TINA TURNER: “What’s Love Got to Do With It”

Tina Turner

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of my Favorite Songs, so thought I’d get back into the groove with my favorite Tina Turner song “What’s Love Got to Do With It“. Not only is it one of my favorite songs of all time, but Tina is also one of my all-time favorite female singers. And quite honestly, who doesn’t love Tina! One of the best live concerts I’ve ever seen was Tina Turner on her What’s Love? Tour in September 1993 (with Chris Isaak opening for her at the Cal Expo Amphitheatre in Sacramento, California).

Born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee in 1939 (hard to believe she’s now 80!), Tina Turner lived part of her rather troubled childhood (thanks to dysfunctional parents) in the town of Nutbush (which she immortalized in her 1973 hit “Nutbush City Limits”), but moved to St. Louis when she was 16 to live with her mother. It was there that she eventually met musician Ike Turner, and began singing with his band Kings of Rhythm by the time she was 18. In 1960, Ike Turner wrote the song “A Fool in Love” for singer Art Lassiter, with Bullock to sing along with Lassiter’s backing vocalists the Artettes. But when Lassiter failed to show up for the recording session, Bullock suggested that she sing lead instead. Ike recorded her on a demo with the intention of erasing her vocals and adding Lassiter’s at a later date. When local St. Louis DJ Dave Dixon heard the demo, he convinced Turner to send the tape to Juggy Murray of R&B label Sue Records, who was so impressed he bought the rights to the track and convinced Turner to make Bullock the star of his show. Well, the song became a chart hit, and Turner subsequently renamed Anna Mae Bullock ‘Tina Turner’, and his act the ‘Ike & Tina Turner Revue’, also adding a girl group called the Ikettes to sing backup to Tina.

Ike and Tina Turner went on to have a successful career, but a very tempestuous relationship, due mostly to Ike’s chronic drug use and the physical and emotional abuse he inflicted on Tina. By 1976, she’d had enough and left Ike on July 1 with only 36 cents and a Mobil gas credit card in her pocket, filing for divorce three weeks later. Tina spent the next six years performing and touring where she could get shows, becoming essentially a nostalgia act. Then in 1983 she signed with Capitol Records, and that November her marvelous cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” was released. It became an international hit and peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. I remember how much I loved it, and was excited to hear Tina singing again. The song was the first single from her phenomenal comeback album Private Dancer, which she recorded in only two weeks. In May 1984 Capitol released the album, along with its second single “What’s Love Got to Do with It”.

The song went on to become Tina’s biggest hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent three weeks, and also reaching #1 in Canada and Australia. It’s a gorgeous R&B/pop song about the intense power of physical and sexual attraction, and how it doesn’t necessarily represent or entail feelings of love or romance. Sounds rather cynical, but I know from experience that it’s completely true. Of course, an underlying theme could be that the singer is intentionally protecting themselves from getting hurt by framing their strong sexual attraction as being merely physical.

Musically, the song has a sultry vibe, with shimmery guitars, soulful rhythms and an enchanting flute that really does it for me. Tina’s powerful smoky vocals are spectacular, with a raw vulnerability that’s strongly evident. She has the ability to seduce with a sensuous purr one moment, then chill us with impassioned wails the next.

You must understand though the touch of your hand
Makes my pulse react
That it’s only the thrill of boy meeting girl
Opposites attract
It’s physical
Only logical
You must try to ignore that it means more than that

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

It may seem to you that I’m acting confused
When you’re close to me
If I tend to look dazed I’ve read it someplace
I’ve got cause to be
There’s a name for it
There’s a phrase that fits
But whatever the reason you do it for me

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

I’ve been taking on a new direction
But I have to say
I’ve been thinking about my own protection
It scares me to feel this way oh oh oh

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a sweet old fashioned notion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken
ooh got to do with it

The song has an interesting back story. It was written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, and originally pitched to British singer Cliff Richard, who rejected it. It was then given to American singer Phyllis Hyman, who wanted to do the song but Clive Davis, the head of her label Arista Records, would not allow her to record it. It was then offered to Donna Summer, who allegedly sat on it for a couple of years but never recorded it, then offered to British pop group Bucks Fizz. Bucks Fizz band singer Jay Aston wanted to sing lead on the track after hearing the demo, but was told by their producer that it was unsuitable for a female lead vocal. Then Tina got her hands on it and the rest is history.

Bucks Fizz did ultimately record the song in February 1984, but it was sung by male band member Bobby G. It was intended for possible inclusion on their next album I Hear Talk, but was shelved when Tina Turner released her version first. The Bucks Fizz version went unreleased until it was included on a re-issue of their Are You Ready album in 2000. (Wikipedia)

For comparison, here’s the Bucks Fizz version, which ain’t too bad actually:

CAYLEY THOMAS – Single Review: “Blue Jean Baby”

Cayley Thomas 2

Cayley Thomas is a singer-songwriter and guitarist born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and now based in Toronto. With a beguiling singing voice and talent for writing songs with arresting melodies and compelling, heartfelt lyrics, she’s been recording some very fine music for the past several years, beginning with her debut EP Ash Mountains in 2013. She followed up in 2016 with the excellent album Weird Love, then dropped an enchanting single “Midnight Hours” in November 2019. She’s now back with a great new single “Blue Jean Baby“, which along with “Midnight Hours” will be included on her forthcoming album How Else Can I Tell You?, due for release on May 1.

About the song, Thomas explains “‘Blue Jean Baby’ explores the pattern of feeling responsible for the emotions or actions of others at the expense of our own wellness. It’s like when you’re on an airplane and they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting other passengers. The accompanying video takes a sobering look at this. I think we can become preoccupied trying to do someone else’s work for them as a means to avoid our own self reflection.

Musically, the song has a languid, doo wop beat, and features a rich mix of instruments that produce an interesting and pleasing soundscape for Thomas’ sublime vocals. She plays the subtle organ work on the track, and has the assistance of several other talented musicians, including Connor Snell (who plays her boyfriend in the video) and Josh Beatty on guitars, Ben Whiteley on the terrific bass, Robin Claxton on drums, James Hill on synth, and Naman Cale adding an enchanting musical element to the song with his marvelous vibraphone.  Josh Eygenraam and Aaron Parker provide the cool sci-fi sound effects that arrive at the end like an alien spaceship.

eyes closed against the passenger window
everything in slow motion
barefoot high heels in hand
and i’m stumbling home to him

my blue jean baby
don’t worry baby
a love like yours will do me in

tv static and hazy
a dreamer of pictures and moonlight
everyone knows that you’re headline news baby
but stumble back home to me

my blue jean baby
don’t worry baby
a love like yours will do me in

The brilliant video, which stars Thomas and curly-haired musician Connor Snell as her too-cute-for-his-own-good boyfriend, along with a number of her Edmonton friends, was also produced and directed by Thomas, and edited by Thomas and Ryan Gullen. It shows Thomas and Snell at a party with friends, where everyone’s drinking and having a good time – with a few of the guys, including Snell, drinking too much. The mood changes as Thomas and her girlfriends become sullen, staring coldly at their boyfriends who are getting increasingly drunk. Eventually, Snell passes out, and she now has to be the adult and carry him home and put him to bed. Disgusted, she goes out into the cold night and ponders her situation before going back inside. After the credits, she and Snell are shown sitting at the breakfast table the next morning, him trying to eat some breakfast while she quietly writes in her journal and avoids looking at him. Watch the video:

Follow Cayley:  FacebookTwitterInstagram
Stream her music:  SpotifySoundcloudApple Music
Purchase:  BandcampGoogle Play

Top 30 Songs for February 9-15, 2020

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

New Song of the Week – MINUS CUBE: “Into the Air”

I’ve been following alternative rock band Minus Cube for a long while now, but have somehow egregiously neglected to feature them on this blog. Today I’m remedying that sad situation by choosing their stunning new single “Into the Air” as my New Song of the Week.

An international band of sorts, Minus Cube is comprised of vocalist Michael Martin, who’s based in the U.S., and guitarist Joe Weinstock and drummer Glyn Rolmanis, who are both based in the UK. Influenced by bands like Alice in Chains, Audioslave, Soundgarden and Tool, their style of alt-rock is characterized by strong grunge and progressive rock elements. Since forming in 2013, they’ve released three excellent albums and numerous singles. If you like the aforementioned bands, I highly recommend that you check out their music on your favorite streaming service, some of which I’ve listed at the end of this review.

It’s a bit ironic that I’ve chosen “Into the Air” as my New Song of the Week, as it’s actually several years old. The song was first recorded in 2014 and was the title track from the band’s debut album Into the Air, however, it was never released as a single. The band wasn’t completely satisfied with the original recording, so they’ve updated it with some newly-recorded guitar tracks, as well as remixing and remastering it to give the bass and drums greater definition. The result is an epic song of breathtaking grandeur lasting nearly eight minutes.

The song opens with Weinstock’s resonant jangly guitar riff setting a rather somber tone. Then Martin’s plaintive vocals enter the scene, accompanied by a subtle bass line and Rolmanis’ intricate drumbeats. As the song progresses, the marvelous guitar work ebbs and flows, climaxing in a gorgeous solo in the bridge. The guys add a backdrop of sweeping orchestral synths to the mix, beautifully conveying a sense of soaring into the heavens, as described in the lyrics. Martin has a wonderful singing voice with an impressive range that’s perfectly suited for their grunge/prog-rock sound. One moment he seduces us with a soothing croon, then brings chills with an impassioned wail the next.

The lyrics seem to speak to breaking the suffocating bonds that tie us to our earthly existence, and escaping into a freer state of mind:

The tides will cry
As time leaves our side
Far and far
And we’ll chase the stars
It’s just the start

Arise into the air with me
Where archaic worlds are yet to see
Arise into the air with me
Illuminate the galaxies

We know they lead a bitter life dream
And have called it free, but it’s not free
So climb the vine at the destined time
Shatter away, Break away
Breach this day, Decrypt the names

We know we’re free, We’re not deceived
We know they lead a bitter life dream
We are free

Follow Minus Cube:  FacebookTwitterInstagram
Stream their music:  SpotifySoundcloudApple MusicReverbnation
Purchase: BandcampGoogle PlayAmazon

AFTER HOUR ANIMALS – Single Review: “Role Play”

After Hour Animals Role Play

After Hour Animals is a metalcore rock band from Miwaukee, Wisconsin, and they’ve just released their new single “Role Play“, featuring guest vocals by Bri Jackson of the band Dreamhouse. After Hour Animals originally formed in 2014, and released a single “Myself in My Head”, but split up two years later. To the delight of their fans, they recently got back together, and now consist of five full time members Nik Djurdjulov (vocals), Armon Salamati (vocals), Brandon Dent (bass), Jasen Johnson (guitar) and Jamie Peña (drums). Bao Vo, who’s also guitarist for Milwaukee metalcore band Under Aegis (who I’ve featured several times on this blog), is a sixth member for live shows.

“Role Play” storms through the gates with hard-driving riffs of gnarly guitars, accompanied by a deep, chugging bass line and a torrent of aggressive drums. Nik’s clean vocals enter first, conveying a heartfelt sense of pain and vulnerability as he sings:”I have reasons to run, take me away. Cause I’m in need of a place to escape.” Then Armon chimes in with fierce metalcore growls in a further expression of anguish: “So let me hike all day and find my place to escape. Cause I have my reasons to run away!” Their contrasting vocal styles play off one another to great effect. As the song progresses, Jasen delivers an awesome wailing guitar solo in the bridge, quickly followed by Bri’s impassioned soaring vocals, which add another layer of texture and excitement to the already dramatic vocal mix.

The extensive and compelling lyrics were written by Nik, and speak to finding an escape from troubles that haunt the mind and spirit in the arms of a lover, even if only for one night. Each of them play a role to provide and find solace in each other, though fleeting. Here’s a snippet of lyrics that drive home the song’s meaning:

In my life I’ve seen
Things that chill me straight down to the bone
Felt love I thought nobody else could know
I wore my heart out on my sleeve only to find out it was just a dream
To believe I could trust in someone else
(I have my reasons to run)
So just for tonight
(Take me away)
Hold me tight
(Cause I’m in need of a place to escape)
But just for tonight
So can you take me away

Wrap your arms around me
Pretend that you love me
Role play that I am something more tonight

The beautifully-filmed video nicely showcases the band’s high energy and strong charisma.

Follow After Hour Animals: FacebookTwitterInstagram
Stream/purchase “Role Play”: SpotifyGoogle PlayApple Music