[25 June 2014]
PopMatters Assistant Editor
One of the wonders of music is its ability to soften the impact of intensely personal subject matter through the use of “happy sounding” technique and key signatures. As Chris Thile once said about bluegrass, “If you want to be happy, listen to the music; if you want to be sad, listen to the lyrics.” “Lover”, the latest single from the Bridgeport, Connecticut alt-country duo Lines West, is an ideal example of the tension between affable music and emotionally probing lyrics. The team of John Radzin and Brian Larney behind the Lines West name bring out this classic feature of country and bluegrass music especially on “Lover”. It’s a tune one will likely hum along to, whether or not one notices Radzin’s melancholy self-exploration.
“‘Lover’ definitely chronicles some key moments for me,” Radzin says. “After losing what I thought was the love of my life, I went through a period where I felt like I was broken—like I could never feel that way again. Then I met someone who brought those feelings back. ‘Lover’ is about that feeling—when I was just starting to fall and wasn’t really sure if she was going to end up breaking my heart or maybe become the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s about embracing the inner conflict, the imbalance, the fear, the not knowing, and then ultimately accepting it all… because that’s pretty much what falling in love is.”
Stop Look and Listen is out on July 1st.