Our interpretation of the message of “Kerosene”
is that the lyrics reference the tendency of society to scorch our dreams and dictate
behavioral expectations, particularly if a person’s dreams reside in the arts. But
the single from Pat Byrne recommends moving forward regardless. Specifically, the
lyrics instruct “Draw a line in the sand // Get up make a stand.” [Those
instructions reminded us of a favorite from 2012 – “Taking Alcatraz” by Field
Report is included in this post.)
Pat Byrne has a voice that is well
tailored for storytelling, much like Jason Isbell. Byrne is an Ireland born-and-raised
vocalist/songwriter who now calls Austin, Texas, his home. “Kerosene” is from
his recently released album “Into the Light.” The appealing pedal steel guitar
on the single is played by Joshua Grange.
Lyrics of “Kerosene” by Pat
Byrne She struggles with anxiety She’s a product of society Talks about it all in her
poetry. Poetry’s her lifeblood But it’s always so
misunderstood People say it’s bad, she knows
it’s good. She knows that it’s good. Harry’s got a new dream Says he’s gonna make it on the
big screen If he’s a movie star, then I’m
the queen. He’s always on the backfoot Listens to the whispers in the
neighborhood People say he can’t, he knows
he could He knows that he could. So, throw away another journal Don’t stray outside the circle, Who do you think you are? Get your head out the stars You’re crippled by another
feeling Staring at another ceiling Weep it away, night turns to
day, Find your something to say. You didn’t act like they told
you Didn’t love who you’re supposed
to Someday the devil’s gonna get
you. And there’s no time for
laughter No time for happy ever after When people wanna own you. People wanna own you. Here comes the cavalry In waves of depravity Coming for you, turning the
screw. To sniff out the blasphemy Broken scales of morality Draw a line in the sand, Get up, make a stand. Take your place with the
damned. You’ve still got the big
dreams? Still think you’ll make it on
the silver screen? We’ll smother that all in
“Lonely” begins misleadingly. The early
indication is that the song from The Gardenwall is synth-heavy and likely guitar-light.
Yes, a guitar hits the speakers, but it’s not played in a Rock fashion; maybe Shoegaze.
There isn’t a signal that “Lonely” is instrumentally driven by percussion and layered duo
guitars, accompanying energized and energizing vocals. It’s a triumph of reality over perception.
The Gardenwall was formed mid-pandemic by three
friends, with two in Canada and the other living in Hollywood, California. The Canadian
residents are Domenic Orsi (guitar, synth) and Steve Casco (drums). Sam Laponis
(vocals, guitar) is the California resident. So, the writing process for “Lonely”
was challenging, but they were determined to make a song as an aid to get out of a negative headspace. They were only able to send audio
files back and forth during the months of the pandemic, without seeing each
other face to face. Creating the music video presented other issues.
“Wake Up” runs parallel to today’s early
post of “Where The Monsters Live” by Freight Train Foxes. Both are vocals-driven
singles that feature acoustic guitar. Both save the most beautiful and invigorating
segment for a conclusion that features an emotion-invoking string instrument. And
in both songs, a crescendo carries the listener into the beauty of the
conclusion. A difference is that the crescendo of Jessie Reid’s “Wake Up” is driven
by a piano.
Jessie Reid is a Folk vocalist/songwriter in
the UK. Quoting her Bandcamp bio: “Jessie Reid’s folk-influenced, percussive
fingerstyle guitar playing has drawn comparisons with the likes of Ben Howard,
Lucy Rose and Nick Mulvey. Jessie was shortlisted for the Glastonbury Emerging
Talent competition and has travelled as far as New York and Brazil in the
promotion of singles."