On Track: The Alt’s weekly single review

On Track: The Alt’s weekly single review

Welcome to the first column in a weekly music installment. Each week, we’ll take a look at a new single from our local artists as well as other far out finds. If you know of new up-and-coming artists and tracks that you think deserve the spotlight, send out a link on Twitter @katiecusackk, and it’ll get a listen. 

This week, we have a track for your introspective rainy night drives–or however you spend your time being meditative and brooding:

Nineteen – Bay Faction
The band released a new single last night at 10 PM along with an accompanying snapshot music video of the trio exploring their new Brooklyn home. Check it out on their Instagram story: @bayfaction

There not a second of introduction in Bay Faction’s newest track before the deep, rolling voice of vocalist James McDermott seizes you, murmuring in your ear. “Cruising / My old body screaming for it / throwing fits / my tongue is sore / Stuck in ‘09 summer school.”

Unlike their last single release, “Pendulum,” the band has stripped down, peeling back the beat happy instrumentals to hone in on their lyrical ability. For the first time, Bay Faction has gone — nearly — acapella, allowing the vocals to carve out the melody that is, usually, expertly crafted by the trio’s interplay. But Nineteen isn’t just another obligatory acoustic “let’s slow down for a minute, folks” track. It’s not that simple. As their reputation precedes them, every note in the Bay Faction song knows it’s place and purpose.

In an intimate two minutes, Nineteen moves like slow dripping wax from a candle, mesmerizing and melting. The slow, measured strumming of acoustic guitar weaves in and out of reach, singing a backup harmony to the melancholy bellows as if to help McDermott find the right words to say. The verses are crushing, with the slightest hint of animosity. “I’m so obsessed with someone else / I can’t forget where you put your mouth,” he croons.

It haunts, in the effect that it lingers with you, a solitary voice echoing into a void as though it comes from your own mind–would it not be for the faint pattering of rain in the background to lend a setting. In short, it’s a beautiful piece of writing.

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