Birds Over Arkansas – “Forgotten Lights”

 Birds Over Arkansas – “Forgotten Lights”

Birds Over Arkansas – “Forgotten Lights” – Single Review

Great to see/hear this band is already back in action; it wasn’t so long ago really that we reviewed their last EP, and since then we’ve gone on to continue to support Birds Over Arkansas on the SBS Podcast with Ryan & Jer to play their tune “Comet” on the show for you fine people out there. I’ve been a big supporter of this band and their sound…there’s a genuine honesty in their music that seems to ring through clearly every time – and this latest beautiful melody, “Forgotten Lights” is certainly no exception. It is however, exceptional; this might be Birds Over Arkansas at the most gorgeous & sincere as I’ve ever heard them on this new-single.

“Forgotten Lights” is a song written in a truly sparkling fashion, comprised of two parts of equal quality and caliber with a flawless transition into its second-half with entirely new energy. Having the privilege of maintaining a loose-dialog with B.O.A. – I can tell you directly the song is written from the forlorn & longing perspective of a person watching someone they love slip into dementia…and the pain here is a genuine one – that emotion and sadness is communicated with the appropriate mood & atmosphere in the first half of “Forgotten Lights.” It’s as gentle as the wind itself…nostalgic-reflection and sadness weave themselves into the fabric of the lyrics and sweetly-sung vocals. They’ve nailed those vocals perfectly both from the lead and backing perfectly all the way throughout this song…but the true beauty in this song has yet to be revealed…the most heart-warming and sweetend-sounds of this song are just around the corner…

Because as far as I’ve ever been able to tell…life is truly perspective…what we see, what we hear…the very way we see and hear…and how we filter it all and choose to look at that information from the beautiful minds we’re born with…what’s real to us is the very way it IS for us. Again…having talked a few times with Birds Over Arkansas, I can tell you that this band truly IS beautiful inside & out…and I’d fully suggest you take my word for it before they attempt to convince you themsel…

…too late.

If you’re listening to the song…you’ve noticed one of the most magical transitions to ever be recorded as Birds Of Arkansas create a gorgeous rhythm and full-on angelic-melody to fuel the attitude and ideas in the music & words of “Forgotten Light’s” second-half. The descriptions in the lyrics up until this point as well…they’ve all been particularly heartbreaking…but everything is about to change; it’s all about perspective right?

Right around the two-minute-&-ten-seconds area (not that I’m being too specific lol) – “Forgotten Lights” shifts into a shining, beautifully-lit, uplifting, positive atmosphere that is truly a breath of fresh-air. It all gets flipped around…acceptance kicks-in…and life is re-examined for what it could truly be like in a time such as this. There is still beauty…even in life’s harshest moments…and Birds Over Arkansas have collectively found a way to capture the very essence of the brighter-side of life and translate it perfectly into this part of the more upbeat-side to the beautiful melody.

Because…you know what this second half truly sounds like right?

Hope. Or perhaps hope and admiration. The lyrics themselves have been some of the very best I’ve heard from B.O.A. all the way throughout this song…but I really can’t deny just how much I truly love this transition to the positive-side and the brightness & beauty in this complex but accessible melody. Because if I’m not mistaken…this song shifts into a whole different time-signature…what IS that? Is this in NINE? Can you do that in Americana Indie-Folk? Is that allowed? Is that even a thing or is that another variation on a timing of three of some sort? Good gravy! It makes my brain melt trying to examine it without any kind of musical education in theory whatsoever…but that’s just what I go through personally as I get into the music for like, the nineteenth or twentieth-time around – chances are, you won’t go through that…cause I’m crazy and you’re usually not. Usually…there’s more than a few questionables that pop-up in our midst here too…that’s for sure.

But let me say this clearly – “Forgotten Lights” is a truly amazing song – but what really makes it as magical as it is, is that very transition to a massively complex rhythm and melody that will never ONCE occur to the average set of listening ears as to just how complex it really IS! Birds Over Arkansas found a way to somehow step-up the accessible-nature of the music & sound to more widespread appeal, all the while making the music itself more complex with precision, dedicated and passionately-skilled instrumentation on full-display – and if you know anything about music at all, you’ll know that this kind of magic is beyond-rare.

If music were a standard mathematical equation, it would tend to regularly resemble this:

Ideas + Increasing Complexity = Music that misses in spots, shines brighter in others…and the interest of the people listening tends to follow that pattern of where it truly works smoothly & fluidly…and other times as a song tends to grow, expand or evolve into something completely different – you can risk losing their attention span from one part to another. But when you do it like THIS…like Birds Over Arkansas have done on “Forgotten Lights,” well…I suppose that’s when you truly reveal who has an understanding of the power of music and the connection, bond and pull we all have to certain melodies, tones and atmospheres. My jaw is literally on the floor in awe of just how beautiful this song becomes through its inspired attitude and perspective in both the lyrics and music of its second part…it’s a song as spectacular as one could ever hope to write, truly…I feel like I could go on and on about it. Even though the words are more factual perhaps than they are in one way positive or negative…the music and inspired-performance sounds like audible-HOPE.

The underlying theme in a song like this, both conscious and unconscious…is about embracing the strengths you have and holding onto what’s yours. Lyrically…that’s communicated, and musically the atmosphere they create certainly brings life to the words beautifully with all the feelings, mood and emotion matching every step of the way. Birds Over Arkansas are truly at their best right here and right now on “Forgotten Lights” – and for a song based sincerely in the struggle with dementia, they’ve certainly created a memory that’s bound to last with this immaculate song.

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