Posts Tagged ‘Kings of Leon’

30th July 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Third Lung are on fire in 2021, and it’s nothing to do with an inflammation caused by a respiratory disease. Too soon? Bad taste? Perhaps both, but usually, in dark times, humour has served as a vital means of staying sane and maintaining morale. So what’s happened? It isn’t that there’s no humour to be found in anything right now. The UK government should be a source of infinite amusement, but then again, satire seemingly died with irony, and moreover, people are scared – not just of the virus, but of other people. The governments has stoked a culture of division, of us and them, a culture whereby the government has given the green light to booing footballers in their own national team for taking the knee. Five minutes on Facebook reveals that we’re living through a war, not against an invisible enemy, as we’ve been repeatedly told, but a war against one another.

This isn’t all digression: Third Lung’s third single of the year already, which follows ‘I A Fire’ and ‘Hold the Line’ is a song that questions the impact of isolation, and while it reaches beyond the immediate pandemic situation, in asking ‘What is a life on your own?’, and, indeed, who are we when not guided and supported by the people around us we cherish and love, its relevance requires no qualification or explanation here.

Imploring the listener to ‘raise a fist to the sky’, ‘What is a Life?’ is a life-affirming anthem – and when I say anthem, I mean the sound and production is absolutely epiiiiiic. Sometimes, music goes beyond personal taste and simply the enormity of its appeal is just fact. There’s undoubtedly a strong 80s U2 parallel here (and even as someone who’s grown to loathe U2, it’s undeniable that The Joshua Tree was a defining moment in arena rock, which saw a band explode from ‘biggish’ to absolute global dominance.

There are dashes of Kings of Leon in the mix, too – again, another band who hit the stratosphere off the back of an album after plugging away for some time – and these guys are easily of the standard (and with way better lyrics than the crass scribblings of bloody ‘Sex on Fire’, which mostly wanted to be ‘Dancing in the Dark’ but with ‘sex’ in the title to give it a bit more sizzle appeal.

So what’s the verdict? Third Lung are better than Kings of Leon, and every bit as good as the best U2, and ‘What Is A Life?’ is an outstanding single.

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Third Lung Artwork

30th April 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

I had something of what you might call an epiphany of sorts last night. I was cooking dinner, and as is standard, had put the TV on. I usually have it on mute and watch the news with subtitles while listening to a CD, but instead, while chopping veg for a healthy stir-fry, I had a music channel playing 80s hits, and it was good – mostly the early 80s, with some ABC and Aha (‘The Sun Always Shines in TV’ for change) before plummeting into the shit of Bros and Brother Beyond just before I served, at which point it went off. But it was during this unashamed nostalgiafest that I realised that for my daughter, who’s 9, the 80s are further in the past than the 60s were when I was her age. And that at her age, I had no interest in the 60s because it was so far back in history it was tinny, trebly, scratchy, dated, sepiatone or black and white. It was historical relics and I never got why my parents rated anything 60s. I still don’t really have much interest in the main.

But chowing my chow mein, I came to realise that things have changed, largely, one assumes, on account of the Internet. Now, we have truly hit peak postmodern in the sense that the historical is now part of the present, and everything and anything goes. The 60s likely feel a lot less distant and alien to a nine-year-old than to someone like me in their mid-40s, because they’re simply so much more accommodating.

And so it is that 23-year-old singer/songwriter Bethany Ferrie takes in a wide range of influences, from the likes of Fleetwood Mac to Lewis Capaldi, Kings of Leon to Taylor Swift. And also, I’m reminded that no longer is anyone purist in their allegiance to rock, pop, or folk. For those under thirty who can extricate themselves from the mundane bilge of R1 mediocrity, whereby music is so much wallpaper, music is music, and there are only two kinds – good and bad. There’s perhaps a certain naivete in the idea that all of these things sit together, but Bethany demonstrates an admirable songwriting prowess with her new single, ‘Bones’. The piano-led song is low-key, but layered, melodic yet heartfelt. It’s also one of those songs that has a slow, contemplative start, before bursting into a cinematic chorus, aided by some reverby production that really does the scope of the song justice.

Is it alternative? Is it niche? No. Is it commercial? In terms of R1 circa 2004 when Keane’s ‘Something Only We Know’ and playlists were wall-to-wall Coldplay, yes and no. ‘Bones’ isn’t dreary, drab, or manufactured, but does have clear commercial potential.

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Final Cover

26th March 2021

James Wells

‘Quiet down – you’re just a voice inside my head,’ sings Tom Farrelly, presenting the crossover between the internal / external monologue that we play out to ourselves. Even when sanity threatens to slip and we find ourselves talking to ourselves, we pull ourselves back with a good talking to. Strangely, there is no contradiction here.

Is ‘I A Fire’ as deep and meaningful as it is anthemic, or is it simply a fortunate lyrical stab that hits a certain level of resonance in verses that exist as much as anything to fill the space and provide a bridge from one chorus to the next? Benefit of the doubt says that this is a genuinely soul-searching moment of introspection that’s found its way into one of the biggest, most stadium-friendly tunes I’ve heard from any act, let alone a new one on the scene, in a long time.

Comparisons to the likes of The Killers and U2 are entirely warranted, but ‘I A Fire’ equally calls to mind the early noughties, and the emergence of Coldplay and Keane, before they came to represent the face of drab musical conservatism and instead marled the arrival of a new breed of acts who placed great emphasis on songwriting and the conveyance of emotion. More than anything though, something about this – and not the title – suggests that ‘I A Fire’ could – and should – be Third Lung’s ‘Sex on Fire’, their breakthrough moment. It ought to be.

Third Lung Artwork