I’ve been busy busy busy. We’re holding auditions for my band Great Highway‘s 8th year on this crazy planet. Interested? Meanwhile, there’s very little time in my schedule these days to look at new stuff coming out locally. That’s a shame because, there are WAVES of great new music releasing in the Bay Area right now, even in this usually-slow Winter season.
I’ve had to pass on a few track submissions coming my way. But one I couldn’t resist is Your Fearless Leader‘s newest single Lime, which came out this week. Oh, what a tasty tasty track this is!
I’ve been following YFL ever since we shared the Rickshaw Stop stage with them in 2017. Feels like that was just yesterday, and also 10 years ago somehow. The relentlessly high-energy troupe has been growing its fan base extensively since then and playing bigger and bigger venues. But while the audience has expanded, the music hasn’t changed too much. While my favorite tune of theirs remains 2018’s Call My Name, with its faux-50’s-rock affectation, big brass refrain, and Motown-y backing vocals, I’m digging on this moodier, more complex new jam that still manages to feel big and sassy, even in its comparative dourness.
Lime is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink track – not surprising, from a band that likes to throw twists and turns into its music and build fat full layers along the way. At last headcount, there are 6 full-time members of the band, but it sounds more like 60 by the end of the song.
It starts off with a rocky, jagged drum kit that feels only mostly timing-edited. This is joined by sweeping violin and a commanding brass section, giving a sense of false hope to contrast the soaring-yet-lamenting, angsty vocals that proclaim angrily and repeatedly, “money buys equality.” Indeed, the whole track is thick with social commentary. The opening lines of Lime move in fast-forward through a Roger Waters-esque journey that stretches from loudly political to intensely personal in a single bound: “They say they want a war; the last was such a bore. The few that own the masses, take control by taking taxes. I sometimes ask myself, what are we living for? White noise symphony; OD, no sympathy.”
This track is complex, unexpected. Very little of it is predictable. The opening lyrics fool you into thinking this will be a sternly vocal soliloquy, but more than half of it ends up more or less instrumental. Everything right up to that off-kilter drum fill at the end seems inserted to keep you on your toes and encourage tension. The whole thing embodies YFL at its best: a group that feels like a party when you see them live; but underneath the fun and games, the passion goes really freakin’ deep.
Reminds me of a quote from the poet Dejan Stojanović: “My feelings are too loud for words.”