iTunes Single of the Week: Morning Parade, “Alienation”

MorningParade1For the most part I’ve been enjoying the Single of the Week, and have even turned on to some artists I’d probably never have heard of and really like now.  Still, I was not prepared for this week’s song.  I mean that in the best possible way.  Have you ever heard a piece of music, whether a pop song, a concerto or an extended free-form jam, that didn’t just catch your attention,  but commanded it in a way that leaves your mouth hanging open, tears popping out of your eyes, chills tingling up and down your spine?  And then all you can do is sit there atilt and go, “Whoa.  WHOAAA,” sounding a bit like Keanu in his Ted “Theodore” Logan years, while you hold onto the edge of the desk or whatever and try to recover?  And then hit repeat… a few times?  Okay, maybe I experience music a little… harder than most people.  (I haven’t really gone into it much on the blog, but I’m a musician myself.  Well, a former band geek/classically trained bass clarinetist.  Woefully out of practice now, but still.  Anyway, I digress.)  That was what this was like.  One of those musical epiphany moments.  Then after you calm down, you’re like “OMG I sooooo have a new favorite band.”  That hasn’t happened to me in awhile.  Probably not since the 90’s (yes, I’m that old).

Anyhow.  I’ve already opened up Morning Parade on Spotify and am joyfully absorbing their entire output whilst I write this.  They are a five-piece hailing from Harlow, Essex, featuring lead singer Steve Sparrow, guitarist Chad Thomas, Phil Titus on bass, Ben Giddings on keyboards, and drummer Andrew Hayes.  It really says something that the band had played fewer than twenty gigs together before they were approached for a recording contract (they didn’t take the bait, holding out and eventually signing with Parlophone, one of Britain’s biggest labels).  Their music has been featured on The Vampire Diaries, and hopefully they will now be getting the stateside attention they deserve.  The song “Alienation” showcases Sparrow’s airy, effortless voice, a sweetly resonant stutter synth part, and solid, cadence-like drums.  It’s lyrically intricate, like the best poetry, with clever, unexpected rhyme schemes, and harmonically diverse as well, building from soft piano passages to soaring, electric crescendos.  It’s about loneliness; not just personal loneliness, but a universal one, gently chiding the listener to “make angels in the snow, love a little more” for “everything you’ve been’s not everything you’ll be.”  In our increasingly disconnected world of smart phones and stupid tweets, it’s something that needs to be said, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s sonically gorgeous at the same time.  Check them out– not just this song, but their whole catalog.  It’s wonderful.  You can thank me later.  The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade:  A+

 

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