New Song of the Week – ROADKEEPER: “Enemy Mine”

One of my favorite American indie bands is alt-rock quartet Roadkeeper, who since forming in 2018 have released a string of exceptional singles. Based in the eastern Texas city of Tyler, the band consists of songwriter/producer John Hetherington (vocals, synths, rhythm guitar), Trevor Tull (lead guitar), Nick Cogdill (drums) and Daniel Griffith (bass), all long-time friends. Roadkeeper is completely independent and self-produced, doing their recording, producing and mixing in John’s studio, and releasing their songs on their own label Equal Temperament. Blending dreamy shoegaze and dramatic psychedelic rock with complex melodic structures, they craft lush soundscapes that are a perfect backdrop for their intelligent, socially conscious, sometimes political, and always topically relevant lyrics that give us something to think about.

I’ve featured them three times on this blog over the past two years (you can read my reviews under ‘Related’ at the bottom of this article). I love all their songs, but two that stand out for me personally are “Old Man’s War”, a beautiful track about anxiety and worry over things, both real and imagined, and “Downs”, stunning song about impostor syndrome and not finding one’s place within the cultural and sociopolitical milieu. “Downs” went to #1 on my Weekly Top 30, and ranked #15 on my Top 100 Songs of 2020 list. Now they’re back with their 7th single “Enemy Mine“, which I’ve chosen as my New Song of the Week. While still featuring their dream rock elements we’ve come to love from Roadkeeper, the song is darker and more sonically intense than their previous singles, befitting the politically-charged lyrics.

The band doesn’t shy away from making their progressive-leaning views known, and states that the song “is about the far right radicalization of vulnerable young people in the U.S. by white nationalist professional pundits who are fed viewers and readers by algorithms on social media and YouTube. There is an organized effort to convert impressionable young people into radical white supremacists and encourage them to undertake radical action against marginalized people and progressive political movements. ‘Enemy Mine’ is about the dissonance between the perceived realities of radical white supremacists and that of everyone else.”

The track opens with ominous cinematic synths that build for nearly a minute, then pounding drumbeats ensue along with wailing guitars, only to calm back down as John begins to sings the verses in his beautiful falsetto. John and Trevor’s blend of jangly and psychedelic guitars are enveloped by shimmery synths, while Daniel and Nick drive the rhythm forward with their thumping bass line and aggressive drums. Everything erupts into an electrifying crescendo of wailing guitars, screaming synths and explosive percussion in the bridge, continuing through to the end of the track for a powerful climax to a gorgeous rock song.

 Even words we never say 
 Turn their heads from soft to something strange 
 Waiting on some kids to sign on 
 Twisting up their roots to point their sharp to Zion 
  
 Their undeveloped brain’s distastes 
 For things they’ve never seen are set in place 
 It’s such a shame 
  
 Bitter little loners 
 Look to those who look like them to find themselves 
 Born without a purpose 
 Led to think they’re worthless until now
 Feed their doubt 
  
 Give them some kind of god to worship 
 Weapons always find their way to 
 Enemies’ front lines 
 Spreading lies, blacking flags 
  
 Even if they hesitate there’s 
 No way that they’re ever coming back 
 Safe behind the soft glow waiting 
 Self appointed sergeants have their backs 
  
 Faceless basement 
 Terrorist replacements 
 Holy war, hiding places 
 The worst of them will steal our words  

The dramatic video, produced by Robert Woodward, shows digitally-altered footage of recent political protests juxtaposed with old footage of 50’s films, atomic blasts, space exploration and scenes of the band performing the song.

Connect with Roadkeeper:  Facebook / Twitter  / Instagram
Stream their music on Spotify / SoundcloudApple Music
Purchase on Bandcamp / iTunes

Top 30 Songs for December 20-26, 2020

  1. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (2)
  2. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (1)
  3. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (6)
  4. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (7)
  5. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (3)
  6. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (4)
  7. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring iann dior (5)
  8. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (9)
  9. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (10)
  10. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (11)
  11. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (8)
  12. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (12)
  13. LETTER TO YOU – Bruce Springsteen (13)
  14. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (15)
  15. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (16)
  16. SHAME SHAME – Foo Fighters (17)
  17. NERVOUS – Au Gres (18)
  18. DIRTY – grandson (19)
  19. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (20)
  20. LEAVE ME ALONE – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (23)
  21. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (24)
  22. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (25)
  23. 1ST TIME – Bakar (27)
  24. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (14) 21st week on list
  25. SURVIVIN’ – Bastille (26)
  26. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (28)
  27. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (21)
  28. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (22)
  29. SOFIA – Clairo (N)
  30. HEADSTART – Jade Bird (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 13-19, 2020

  1. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (1)
  2. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (4)
  3. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (2)
  4. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (3)
  5. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring iann dior (5)
  6. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (7)
  7. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (8)
  8. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (6)
  9. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (10)
  10. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (12)
  11. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (11)
  12. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (13)
  13. LETTER TO YOU – Bruce Springsteen (14)
  14. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (9) 20th week on list
  15. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (17)
  16. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (18)
  17. SHAME SHAME – Foo Fighters (19)
  18. NERVOUS – Au Gres (20)
  19. DIRTY – grandson (21)
  20. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (22)
  21. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (15)
  22. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (16)
  23. LEAVE ME ALONE – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (25)
  24. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (26)
  25. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (27)
  26. SURVIVIN’ – Bastille (28)
  27. 1ST TIME – Bakar (29)
  28. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (30)
  29. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (23) 22nd week on list
  30. THE LET GO – Elle King (24)

Either WordPress or Spotify are being dicey, so the songs on this playlist may not be playable in certain countries.

Top 30 Songs for December 6-12, 2020

  1. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (3)
  2. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (1)
  3. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (2)
  4. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (4)
  5. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring iann dior (6)
  6. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (7)
  7. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (8)
  8. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (9)
  9. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (5)
  10. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (13)
  11. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (15)
  12. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (16)
  13. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (14)
  14. LETTER TO YOU – Bruce Springsteen (17)
  15. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (10)
  16. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (11)
  17. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (19)
  18. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (20)
  19. SHAME SHAME – Foo Fighters (23)
  20. NERVOUS – Au Gres (22)
  21. DIRTY – grandson (24)
  22. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (25)
  23. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (12) 21st week on list
  24. THE LET GO – Elle King (18)
  25. LEAVE ME ALONE – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (30)
  26. THEREFORE I AM – Billie Eilish (N)
  27. HEAT WAVES – Glass Animals (N)
  28. SURVIVIN’ – Bastille (N)
  29. 1ST TIME – Bakar (N)
  30. THE ADULTS ARE TALKING – The Strokes (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 29-December 5, 2020

  1. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (1)
  2. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (2)
  3. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (4)
  4. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (5)
  5. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (3)
  6. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring iann dior (8)
  7. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (9)
  8. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (13)
  9. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (14)
  10. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (7)
  11. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (10)
  12. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (6) 20th week on list
  13. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (15)
  14. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (16)
  15. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (17)
  16. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (18)
  17. LETTER TO YOU – Bruce Springsteen (19)
  18. THE LET GO – Elle King (12)
  19. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (23)
  20. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (26)
  21. TANGERINE – Glass Animals (11)
  22. NERVOUS – Au Gres (25)
  23. SHAME SHAME – Foo Fighters (28)
  24. DIRTY – grandson (29)
  25. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (30)
  26. AMOEBAS IN GLASS HOUSES – Moonlight Broadcast (20)
  27. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (21) 20th week on list
  28. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (22)
  29. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (24) 22nd week on list
  30. LEAVE ME ALONE – I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 22-28, 2020

  1. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (2)
  2. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (3)
  3. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (1)
  4. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (5)
  5. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (6)
  6. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (4)
  7. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (7)
  8. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior (9)
  9. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (10)
  10. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (8)
  11. TANGERINE – Glass Animals (11)
  12. THE LET GO – Elle King (12)
  13. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (16)
  14. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (21)
  15. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (19)
  16. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (18)
  17. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (20)
  18. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (24)
  19. LETTER TO YOU – Bruce Springsteen (29)
  20. AMOEBAS IN GLASS HOUSES – Moonlight Broadcast (17)
  21. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (13)
  22. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (14)
  23. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (26)
  24. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (15) 21st week on list
  25. NERVOUS – Au Gres (28)
  26. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (30)
  27. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (22) 23rd week on list
  28. SHAME SHAME – Foo Fighters (N)
  29. DIRTY – grandson (N)
  30. CAN YOU FEEL THE SUN – MISSIO (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 15-21, 2020

  1. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (1)
  2. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (3)
  3. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (4)
  4. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (2)
  5. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (5)
  6. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (6)
  7. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (9)
  8. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (10)
  9. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior (11)
  10. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (13)
  11. TANGERINE – Glass Animals (14)
  12. THE LET GO – Elle King (15)
  13. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (7)
  14. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (8)
  15. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (12)
  16. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (19)
  17. AMOEBAS IN GLASS HOUSES – Moonlight Broadcast (18)
  18. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (20)
  19. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (21)
  20. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (24)
  21. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (25)
  22. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (17) 22nd week on list
  23. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (16)
  24. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (27)
  25. BEAUTIFUL ANYWAY – Judah & the Lion (26)
  26. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (29)
  27. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (22)
  28. NERVOUS – Au Gres (30)
  29. LETTER TO YOU – Bruce Springsteen (N)
  30. TROUBLE’S COMING – Royal Blood (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 8-14, 2020

  1. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (2)
  2. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (1)
  3. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (3)
  4. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (4)
  5. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (7)
  6. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (8)
  7. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (5)
  8. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (6)
  9. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (10)
  10. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (11)
  11. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior (12)
  12. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (9)
  13. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (17)
  14. TANGERINE – Glass Animals (18)
  15. THE LET GO – Elle King (19)
  16. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (13)
  17. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (14) 21st week on list
  18. AMOEBAS IN GLASS HOUSES – Moonlight Broadcast (20)
  19. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (21)
  20. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (22)
  21. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (23)
  22. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (15)
  23. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (16)
  24. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (27)
  25. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (28)
  26. BEAUTIFUL ANYWAY – Judah & the Lion (26)
  27. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (30)
  28. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (24) 23rd week on list
  29. SKIN AND BONES – Cage the Elephant (N)
  30. NERVOUS – Au Gres (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 1-7, 2020

  1. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (1)
  2. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (4)
  3. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (5)
  4. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (6)
  5. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (2)
  6. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (3)
  7. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (8)
  8. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (9)
  9. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (7)
  10. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (11)
  11. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (14)
  12. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior 15)
  13. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (10)
  14. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (12)
  15. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (13)
  16. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (18)
  17. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (20)
  18. TANGERINE – Glass Animals (21)
  19. THE LET GO – Elle King (22)
  20. AMOEBAS IN GLASS HOUSES – Moonlight Broadcast (23)
  21. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (26)
  22. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (27)
  23. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (29)
  24. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (17) 22nd week on list
  25. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (16)
  26. BEAUTIFUL ANYWAY – Judah & the Lion (28)
  27. FIRE FOR YOU – Cannons (N)
  28. CAN I BELIEVE YOU – Fleet Foxes (N)
  29. FOR SURE – Future Islands (19)
  30. THINK I’M CRAZY – Two Feet (N)

Top 30 Songs for October 25-31, 2020

  1. CAN I CALL YOU TONIGHT? – Dayglow (3)
  2. MY OWN SOUL’S WARNING – The Killers (1)
  3. FEEL YOU – My Morning Jacket (2)
  4. DOWNS – Roadkeeper (5)
  5. IS IT TRUE – Tame Impala (6)
  6. BLOODY VALENTINE – Machine Gun Kelly (7)
  7. IT’S YOU – The Frontier (4)
  8. ARE YOU BORED YET? – Wallows featuring Clairo (10)
  9. MARIPOSA – Peach Tree Rascals (11)
  10. HOODIE UP – MISSIO (9)
  11. GIANTS – Dermot Kennedy (12)
  12. MONSTERS – All Time Low featuring blackbear (8)
  13. FAULT LINES – Callum Pitt (15)
  14. COME & GO – Juice WRLD featuring Marshmello (21)
  15. MOOD – 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior 22)
  16. CARDIGAN – Taylor Swift (13)
  17. HALLUCINOGENICS – Matt Maeson (14) 21st week on list
  18. FRIDAY NIGHT – Heist At Five featuring Francesca Confortini (19)
  19. FOR SURE – Future Islands (17)
  20. IDENTICAL – Phoenix (23)
  21. TANGERINE – Glass Animals (24)
  22. THE LET GO – Elle King (25)
  23. AMOEBAS IN GLASS HOUSES – Moonlight Broadcast (26)
  24. MY FUTURE – Billie Eilish (16)
  25. WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? – Bastille featuring Graham Coxon (18)
  26. VISITOR – Of Monsters and Men (27)
  27. BURN THE VISION – Amongst Liars (28)
  28. BEAUTIFUL ANYWAY – Judah & the Lion (29)
  29. VIRUS – Vanity Fear (30)
  30. WATERMELON SUGAR – Harry Styles (20)