BEST NEW INDIE: LOVELYTHEBAND - MAYBE, I’M AFRAID
Indie pop darlings Lovelytheband create the definitive millennial relationship anthem on "Maybe I'm Afraid"
Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," with his post-Beatles AM staple band Wings, is one of the most iconic love songs of all time. McCartney speaks with candor of the blossoming of his love with his wife, the photographer Linda McCartney. It's a classic wedding first dance, but even this Hallmark love song has its share of insecurities. McCartney speaks of his fear and anxiety of messing things up while expressing his adoration simultaneously.
"Maybe I'm Amazed" was written back in 1971, when the world of love and dating and romance, and just the world in general, was a much less complicated place. Anyone attempting to describe the pulse of modern love is going to have a tough time. The same is probably true of people actually in love in this day and age.
It's telling that Lovelytheband's new single "Maybe, I'm Afraid" is made up of mostly negative thoughts and emotions, with the trappings of traditional romance dancing around the edges. A young couple sway to a skipping Frank Sinatra. All the while, Lovelytheband's Mitchy Collins speaks to his shortcomings. Despite his fears that he'll be a flake and mess things up, he's still willing to show up when the chips are down.
LOVELYTHEBAND - MAYBE, I’M AFRAID
"Maybe, I'm Afraid" is an emo bedroom pop update on the Wings classic. It's highly-infectious chorus brings to mind art punks like The World Is A Beautiful Place And I'm No Longer Afraid To Die. Collins' reedy vocals explode like a roman candle over anthemic guitar chords from Jordan Greenwald and a steady-thumping beat from drummer Sam Price. It's a thrilling moment, full of surprises and complex emotions. This may be partially due to the inclusion of production duo Heavy, an LA-based production/songwriting team consisting of Jason Bell and Jordan Miller. Jason Bell's an indie pop luminary in his own right, as one of the founders of The Stars Of Track And Field. Heavy have worked with the Goo Goo Dolls as well as tons of indie bands. All of these seemingly unrelated threads come together in the glistening skein of "Maybe, I'm Afraid."
Despite the bleak lyrics, Lovelytheband's newest single is a hopeful cry at the end of the day. Sure, things are confusing and complicated and we may be facing a fiery apocalypse at any given moment. But we continue to show up, continue to live our lives. Love is not about being perfect. It's about being real, and being yourself. Lovelytheband are doing just that. It's the perfect love song for these times. We Are: The Guard recommend you bop along, then check out their debut album Finding It Hard To Smile, which dropped earlier this month. You'll have a chance to catch 'em live, too, as they're hitting the road on a cross-country headlining tour, straight off of an opening slot for AWOLNATION.
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.