“(I Just Died) Like An Aviator” by Matthew Ryan – A Song Review
The start of “(I Just Died) Like An Aviator” contains the gravelly
voiced woe of a Tom Waits song. The bass line governs the instrumental accompaniment for the lyrics, “Everything sucks… God, I’m a wreck.” By the end, the tone becomes supportive,
although still far from high spirited – “Don't die, don't disappear; I swear to
God we need ya here.” Reflecting the uptick in tone, a higher frequency guitar
riff drives the finish.
The lyrics of the song are included in this post. When placed in the
light of last week’s death of Chris Cornell, they take on a greater
A comparison to Tom Waits is appropriate, but the influence of Gaslight
Anthem is more apparent. The frontman of Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon,
contributed backing vocals and guitar. Fallon also produced the album that includes
“(I Just Died) Like An Aviator.” The ten-track album, “Hustle Up Starlings,” was released on May 12.
According to the SubmitHub information:
“’Hustle Up Starlings’ is an
album in the truest sense of the word — it’s a cohesive sonic and narrative
expression with a beginning, middle, and end. It was in a conversation with the
great producer and songwriter Joe Henry that Ryan realized once again the
importance of committing to the fullness of experience that an album offers.
‘It’s an intimate story I’m telling here. These songs are personal, but if I’m
lucky and I’ve done my job, they become universal. The story I’m living and
writing about is happening in the context of this world we’re all observing and
feeling right now, a world that feels like it might catch fire with all its
uncertainty and friction, the ugly politics and rising impulses.’
Ryan explains further, ‘You see, this
is what we do though, even when the world feels like it’s about to burn down,
we keep leaning for tomorrow in our own lives and stories and families. It’s
all hope and perseverance. We get up and we go to work. We believe in tomorrow,
even when we’re not sure what tomorrow will be. Joe helped me to realize that I
should probably tell the whole story as best I could. Brian and Doug [Lancio]
and the band helped me bring it to life so it could be heard and shared. And
“(I Just Died) Like An Aviator” - Matthew Ryan (lead vocals), Brian
Fallon (electric guitars, backing vocals), Brian Bequette (bass), and Brad
Pemberton (drums, percussion).