Friday, December 31, 2010

Young Blood

I caught this song recently while indulging in my going on six month love affair with XM radio in my car (they were supposed to turn off my free subscription after 90 days, SHHHH).

The opening bell (dulcimer?) riff, a motif carried through the rest of the track, sounds somehow appropriate for the holidays.  The blast of energy that comes with the drum track kick will make your blood cells hop in joyous dance. Then comes the vocal melody, anthemic and carbonated, speaking so earnestly that knowing the lyrics, a triumph on their own accord, is irrelevant when you immediately begin singing along to the feeling. The siren voice of Alisa Xayalith (I originally thought this band featured a male lead using a chipmunk falsetto recently popularized by Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit) is really what makes this song unavoidably infectious, and if you think you can resist, just listen to her exclaim "eeeyeah" four times and try not to sing along. A smooth, synthy bass line drives the verse and gives way to the floating, pre-euphoric keyboards before the chorus ignites into a fireworks display of chimes and arena rock guitar; it delivers an instant high your ears will want more of.

The song also features fleeting periods of calm, like the bridge, which manages to slow your heart back down to the beat of the percussion while the voice of co-writer Thom Powers creates a feeling of reflection by lyric and sound. 2010 has been a long year often unfortunate year, and if ever there were a soundtrack for the final minute of this year, it would surely begin at the 2:08 mark. This minute is a chance to shed the past twelve months, the ups and downs, pains and joys, mistakes and triumphs, ("Count up all your mistakes, pair of forgivers. Let go before it's too late") in order to prepare for the coming renewal, signaled by the ball drop light explosion timed perfectly and serendipitously with the hook return at 3:05.  To me, this song is the sound of hope and a renewal of the spirit of youth, which is captured in such a beautiful, artistic, and fun video chronicle of young people revolting against time while simultaneously embracing it. It's the sound of the "bittersweet between my teeth," the sound of an old burden "as it withers...crumbles and breaks," the sound of "one temporary escape." In short, I love this song, and I want to dance to it surrounded with beloved friends on a rooftop during a sunset. I know, I'm supposed to dodging cliches on this blog (forgive me).  Give it a view and listen, then read the lyrics. The feeling of somber euphoria will mess with your heart and head: wrestle with it.

Happy New Year RDs! Here's to a blessed 2011.

Step into the rain:

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