To say that 2020 has been a turbulent 12 months is an understatement. Many songwriters have turned to their artwork to precise their emotions concerning the pandemic, the present political state of affairs, the local weather disaster and extra. Within the course of, they’ve supplied us with some gentle amongst all of the darkness.
There have been so many songs impressed by the pandemic that it has spurred a style generally known as “pandemic pop.” These tunes vary from the humorous (Randy Newman’s “Keep Away”) to the heartfelt (Bono’s “Let Your Love Be Recognized”), however there haven’t been lots of pandemic love songs.
Jamie Kent, a musician previously from Northampton who now resides in Nashville, helped fill that void. He just lately launched the track ”Alone,” a country-rock tune that’s pushed by acoustic guitar and piano and even encompasses a string part. It’s an upbeat, infectious track that one wouldn’t essentially assume was impressed by a pandemic.
Kent wrote the track along with his producer, Marti Frederiksen, whereas in lockdown. Frederiksen, who has a formidable resume that features producing everybody from Ozzy Osborne to Religion Hill, has co-written songs with Aerosmith and supplied the vocals for the band Stillwater within the film “Nearly Well-known.”
“We wrote it through Zoom — my first time doing it that means — after which I recorded my guitar and vocals in my house studio, despatched them to him, and he recorded all the pieces else at his,” Kent just lately informed Sounds Native. “Undoubtedly a unique course of than regular, however appears becoming for a pandemic love track I suppose.”
Lyrics like “The world is likely to be ending/I ain’t received a clue/I’d slightly be alone with you/The moments sluggish and regular/Like arms upon a clock/You discover out what actually issues/ Once you’re compelled to cease” replicate on how some folks had been in a position to revisit their priorities as soon as they stepped again from their busy lives.
The video that accompanies the track exhibits a montage of individuals shifting on with their lives regardless of the tough state of affairs they’re residing via — celebrating weddings, births, child’s first steps and, after all, cute canine.
“I had the thought for the video, as I used to be getting increasingly more overwhelmed by the information day-after-day,” stated Kent, who was just lately named certainly one of Nashville’s 25 most fascinating folks of 2020 by Nashville Existence Journal. “It dawned on me that there are nonetheless so many silver lining moments to be present in these robust occasions. Moments of mindfulness which might be vital to recollect. Re-discovering love, further time with youngsters, walks across the block, baking sourdough.”
Kent was noticing these moments in his personal life and wished to discover a strategy to remind folks of these moments in theirs, so he put a name out to followers to share a few of them. The response was unimaginable.
“I solely want we may have match all the pieces within the video, nevertheless it actually was an inspiration for me and has helped me keep optimistic because the reside music business stays on maintain,” he stated.
“Alone” will seem on his upcoming album, which shall be launched within the spring of 2021, however search for a few extra singles to be launched earlier than that point. His final album, “All American Mutt,” debuted at Quantity 16 on the Billboard Prime Nation Albums Chart and quantity three on the Heatseeker Charts.
Kent was scheduled for a homecoming present on the Iron Horse Music Corridor this previous spring nevertheless it was postponed till April 2021.
“Alone,” could be seen at jamiekent.com
Lake Avenue Dive is not a neighborhood band, however they’ve shut ties to the realm. The band, which was initially shaped in Boston, was found by Jim Olsen, of Signature Sounds, who signed them to his label after seeing them carry out earlier than a handful of individuals at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls.
Lake Avenue Dive just lately dropped a brand new single referred to as “Making Do” that’s a cry to motion regarding the present local weather disaster. The track is a departure for the band, which is understood for its upbeat jazzy pop music. The group doesn’t often delve into social points. “Making Do” is a mid-tempo tune with a pulsating guitar line, regular drumbeat and a blazing guitar solo within the center. Value’s vocals are as sturdy as ever and her bandmates chime in on layered harmonies.
“Making Do” is concerning the world that future generations are inheriting.
“We’re all involved about what is going on to our planet, so the track explores what arises after we think about each our function in it and our accountability to handle it,” stated the band in an announcement concerning the track. “Hopefully, it comes via as a rallying cry to do the most effective you may with what you’ve gotten.”
An accompanying video exhibits a wide range of folks holding up indicators with the lyrics written on them. For those who look shut, you’ll catch some acquainted native aces like musicians June Millington and Naia Kete. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey additionally seems.
“Making Do” could be seen at lakestreetdive.com.
Pamela Means and her bandmates, Cinamon Blair on bass and vocals and I-Shea on percussion and vocals, recorded this six-song disc at Northfire Recordings in Amherst.
Produced by Garrett Sawyer, this recording was accomplished a few years in the past, however Means, who’s a resident of the Pioneer Valley, is simply releasing it now.
Because it seems, with the election proper across the nook and the ascent of the Black Lives Matter motion, the time is true for these politically charged songs. The opening observe, “Impeachment Now,” sums up Means’ view on our present president. “The “President Is incompetent/A humiliation/Impeachment Now,” she angrily sings all through the track. The pressure of her phrases is additional boosted by I-Shea’s percussion.
As a biracial lady, Means has stated she’s handled racism all her life and she or he tackles the topic on a few the songs right here. “Every thing darkish comes out within the gentle/We preserve marching on however our souls are drained/Right here we’re once more, right here we’re once more/A black man gone ‘explanation for the colour of his pores and skin,” she sings on “Coloration of the Pores and skin,” which is accented by harmonies from her bandmates. “James Madison” is about slavery and contains direct quotes from the fourth president of america. “Palms Up,” is a track about gun violence that additionally highlights Means’ spectacular guitar work.
Means is a gifted guitarist, singer and songwriter. “Reside at Northfire” is a compelling piece of music with some highly effective messages. Whether or not you’re a longtime fan of Means or a newcomer, “Reside at Northfire” is deserving of your time.
“Reside at Northfire” is accessible in each a clear and specific model. Go to pamelameans.bandcamp.com to buy.
Sheryl Hunter is a music author who lives in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in numerous regional and nationwide magazines. You possibly can contact her at email@example.com.