Photo: Elijah Van Dine

On “Live Forever”, Mike Mains & the Branches Unearth the Beauty Beneath Sadness (premiere)

On "Live Forever", indie folk group Mike Mains and the Branches work to find the beauty hiding just beneath the surface of a marital rough patch.

Paying heed to its driving rhythm and jovial, hum-along chorus, it doesn’t take long to perceive “Live Forever” as a song for optimists. Fronted by spouses Shannon and Mike Mains, Mike Mains and the Branches’ latest single is an honest exploration of deep-seated emotional pain. Finding the beauty hiding just beneath the surface of a marital rough patch, Mike Mains describes the synth-spattered, sing-along highs of the tune to PopMatters in a statement.

“‘Live Forever’ was written in a place where one person is feeling unworthy of love, broken beyond repair, and the other person is trying to give them a reason to stick around and reminding them that they are worthy of love. Letting go of all of the weight that someone carries with them. It’s about carrying the feeling of beauty and wonder forever. Beneath the pain, there is joy to be tapped into. The first verse is about being in a really bad place; the second verse explores the feelings I had when I met Shannon and the way that she was able to reach into my pain and pulled the best out of it. Ultimately it’s about the drive within ourselves to find and let go of our shortcomings. We all have blind spots, but when I spend time with my wife it motivates me to be a better person, and that’s the feeling that drove ‘Live Forever.'”

The single is from Mike Mains and the Branches’ forthcoming album, When We Were Young. Due out on 5 April via Tooth & Nail, the LP is their first in over five years.


3/09/19 – Steadfast Music Festival – Columbus, OH

3/10/19 – Lo-Fi Lounge – Indianapolis, IN

3/13/19 – Vinyl – Atlanta, GA3/14/19 – The End – Nashville, TN

3/15/19 – The Rino – Kansas City, M)

3/16/19 – The Garage – Burnsville, MN

3/19/19 – Racoon Motel – Davenport, IA

3/21/19 – The GMan Tavern – Chicago, IL

3/22/19 – The Loft – Lansing, MI

3/23/19 – The Auricle – Canton, OH

3/24/19 – Stage on Herr – Harrisburg, PA

3/26/19 – The Red Room @ Café 939 – Boston, MA +

3/27/19 – StageOne @ FTC – Fairfield, CT +

3/29/19 – Coney Island Baby – New York, NY +

3/30/19 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA +

3/31/19 – Jammin Java – Vienna, VA +

4/02/19 – The Canal Club – Richmond, VA

4/03/19 – Neptune’s Lounge – Raleigh, NC

4/04/19 – Isis Music Hall – Asheville, NC

4/05/19 – Hard Rock Café – Pittsburgh, PA4/06/19 – Top Cats – Cincinnati, OH

4/19/19 – The Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI

+ = with OWEL