Friday, February 19, 2016

“Keep Holding On” by Mara Simpson – A Song Review

     Mara Simpson released a momentum builder when she introduced a track from her upcoming album, “Our Good Sides.” The foundation is established in both the vocals and the instruments, and the tools for the build are conviction and inclusion.
     Vocally, “Keep Holding On” begins with Mara Simpson setting up an analogy in the form of a story. The story is about Freida Schulze, who in 1961, at the age of 77, jumped from the window of an apartment on the East Berlin border for the freedom of West Germany. A short clip showing her struggle is included at the bottom of this post. Once the story is told, the message behind the analogy is stated with conviction – keep holding on. The build of inclusion is the addition of voices, namely those of Olly Knights of Turin Brakes, Ben Ottewell of Gomez, and Mara’s cousin, Courtney Simpson.
     Instrumentally, the support at the start is simple and almost minimalistic. But by the end of “Keep Holding On,” the instruments are forceful. Important contributions are made by Chris Boot on drums, Jamie Patterson on bass and Tim Bidwell on “this and that.” The Facebook page of Mara Simpson identifies other band members as Ben Daniels, Rene Corbett, Alex Bayer, and Susy Peddie. They are based in Brighton, UK.

      “Keep Holding On” by Mara Simpson

   Freida Schulze drops into West Berlin. 

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