Review Summary: A Personal Review on a couple of songs from "Go Farther in Lightness"
At the dinner table, chatter stops as we all listen closely. Triple J’s announcer for the hottest 100 announces, “Number five – The Deepest of Sighs and the Frankest of Shadows”, my dad and I jump to our feet in excitement, as he laughs and quickly reminds me “told ya it would make the bloody top five”. The popular new hit album “Go Farther in Lightness” has been a massive success not just for the band but also for alternate indie rock music. It explores deep and meaningful ideas which many listeners can closely relate to, including myself. The album intensely explores ideals such as the loss of love, the celebration of life, and hope. It’s an album which has a lot of different musical rhythms and pieces, which ultimately all attempt to explore the same thing. As one critic, Dylan Marshall put it, “it is a compass for those lacking direction”. A statement I completely agree with, as it urges listeners to appreciate their existence and have faith in the process that is called life, for all its ups and downs.
The album begins with one of my favorites, the song “Fear and Trembling”. I have recently just discovered that it was titled after a Soren Kierkegaard novel. When I looked deeper into the novel I found that it discusses a story from the Bible, Genesis 22:1-18, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac. I believe the song strongly connects with the book throughout, as it talks about what it means to believe in God or alternatively to question God’s existence. As Le’aupepe starts to set up the explosion of noise that comes with drums and base guitar just before the third verse, he sings softly “So if faith is to lose the mind to win God”. Here I think he is exercising the idea that we must take a ‘leap of faith’ in that we cannot justify God through rational meaning, and instead we must use the idea of God as a total solution to our problems. I think when I first understood what that line really meant, it connected with me on a truly deep and meaningful level. I’m at that stage in my life where I’m starting to discover who I am and what path I want to take, including that of religion. This song really suggests that even if you are not entirely sure about taking up a religion, that you should just “jump right in”. However, later in the next verse and then in the chorus he talks about how he is conflicted between two ideas, those being: that God was fed down his throat from childhood however he now doubts it. “And the part of me unspoken and the part that’s self assured…. So if losing my religion is the way to finding God…. Then light it up, the shadows in my blood”. These lines prove that David wants to enlighten the “shadows” that he and in a larger sense that humans tend to shy away from. Instead of shying away from difficult questions, the song urges that we as a whole, need to start questioning religion or questioning God to find our true God, ourselves.
Though slightly slower than the likes of “The Heart is a Muscle”, the one minute, forty-seven second short track is no less meaningful. Being the title of the album some would say that the song would have to be one of the best in the album, and I don’t disagree. The track starts with some quiet soft chatter between what sounds to be a young woman and a man, but they quickly fade into the background and the lyrics and music begin. The music and tone of the singing in this song is a lot softer than some of the other songs in the album, and I think it’s because Le’aupepe is trying to really make the audience listen and take in what he’s saying. In the first two lines of the song David describes the day he nearly took his own life, “all by my father’s old Magnolia tree”. The phrase really makes me think about one of the interviews I’ve watched and reminds me of a phrase that constantly comes to mind whenever I feel down and that is “there was a solitary, single moment where I was like, you know what, chin up, mother***er”. The reference to this in this particular memory in the song makes me think that the song’s idea is based around hope and belief. The song delicately bleeds into the idea of hope, as the piano complements David’s voice immaculately as he clearly urges his audience to go farther in lightness. And I think I and a lot of other listeners can come to the same realization that David has come to in the album, the realization that ‘yeah life’s not all ups, its got its downs as well’ but it’s the way we get through those downs and how we continue to “Go farther in Hope” and “Go Farther in Lightness”.
“Let Me Down Easy” tops it all off for me and is sort of the “cherry on top”. Its arguably the best song in the album, especially for those trying to find themselves. The chill mellow peaceful tranquil, tone of the song makes for an extremely easy listen, as the very familiar steady drum beat rings throughout the song creating a sweet smooth sound, again alongside the effortless deep singing tone that is provided by David’s voice. I think the song explores self love and more generally our own humanity. David once again dives deep into the idea of accepting the ‘***ty’ experiences that we all go through, but insists that we stay true to ourselves. With lines like “Don’t’ stop believing” and “You want someone to want you for who you are” those ideas can really be seen in true light. I think all listeners, including myself, can relate to ideas like these because we all go through tough times and sometimes forget about the things that are most important, ourselves. Like David says, ultimately “Sometimes life sucks, everything is lame
Not everything’s as easy as making lemonade”.