Fear is Just a Part of Love: A Pretty Good Song

If I were to ask you what is the best song of the last 5 years, what would you say? My guess would be that Shane would choose I’m the One by DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance the Rapper. That song was like nails on a chalkboard for me during the final 2 weeks of my Freshmen year of college. I still have nightmares of a shirtless Shane cleaning our bathroom to that song while singing into a broom handle as if he were Bieber himself. I’d also assume Walker would follow that up with Some sort of Jazz rendition of Mask off by Future. No nightmares here. Just pure disappointment. And well, Jackie… I don’t know Jackie well enough yet to guess which song she’d select. That said, I am absolutely certain it would be something more appealing than the prior two choices.


Trying to picture what this man would look like playing a saxophone right now.

As for me, there are quite a few songs that are up there. I don’t know which is the “best” per say, however I do know which ones are really REALLY good. Some might even say pretty good. Now, I don’t want to come across as Allegedly Blog’s music snob. (That kind of rhymed, which is cool. Maybe that’s not a bad title to have.) But I do know a pretty good song when I hear one. There are a few that come to mind, but one example stands out above the rest. When this song was introduced to me, at first I was disgusted. I hated it. I don’t know why, but something about the song was revolting to my ears the first few times I had the displeasure of experiencing the track. A year or so later, an old friend that will remain nameless reminded me of the song and I subsequently revisited the tune. The same opinion I had lingered, however this time around I couldn’t bring myself to stop clicking the repeat button. You ever experienced that? You can’t stand something, but you just can’t manage to turn away? I’ve been there and this song is a prime example.


The more I listened, the more I grew to love what I once hated. But what did you hate about the song though, Dave? Dude, I literally already said I don’t know. BUT, if I had to guess it would be that on first listen this song sounds kind of…. Ugly? Does that make the slightest bit of sense? Probably not, but oh well. The wildly overdriven guitars sound almost out of tune at points, the vocals pierce your ears in a way that not many other songs do, and it kind of sounds as if the song was recorded inside of a tin can. All of that said, the imperfections soon become perfection. The sour parts of the song become sweet, and you discover whatever broke this young man’s heart produced one of the most emotionally riveting songs of the last 5 years.



THE SONG


I interrupt this post to present you once again with the content in question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ePF4MaeK30


In 2018, we had the pleasure of being introduced to Briston Maroney's EP, Carnival. Totaling just 5 tracks, I understand why it may have originally slipped under your radar. If it didn’t and you know exactly what I’m talking about, just sit tight. The 3rd song on the track listing is entitled “Freakin’ out on the Interstate”, and this where the 20 year old made his mark on the indie music scene… in my humble opinion.


The song opens with a unique pattern on a single guitar that evokes a similar emotion to turning onto an open road at night with no sense of direction. Dare I say the title of the song is appropriate? The dirty, reverb-soaked guitar you hear at the start is only a tease of what is to come, as the song meticulously builds over its 4 minute and 12 second run time. The whining guitar is soon accompanied by the sharp, echo ridden vocals of Maroney, as you’re thrown into a world of adolescence, love, pain, angst, and just a little bit of self-reflection.


“Freakin' out on the interstate Rolling down the windows, baby, I can't hear a thing you say I'm walking back to my favorite place And I can feel them staring at me Baby, do you think I'm doing something wrong?”


A pre-chorus follows the first verse, and you’re introduced to a pounding drum pattern that leaves you on the edge of your seat anticipating more.


“And you got a lot on your mind And your heart, it looks just like mine There's no use in wasting your time, anymore…”


Regardless of what has been eating at this young man's heart, you’re bound to believe every word he sings. His delivery is flawless, and his vocals pull you in from the jump and don't release their grip until the song has concluded. He has both a youthful sweetness yet a mature sense of pain in the tone of voice, and the choice of instrumentation pairs perfectly with the emotions he is trying to convey. The anxiety of feeling the stares of others, the uncertainty of what is unknown, and the heartbreak that comes with a mangled relationship are all represented so well in terms of sound. A dialed back chorus follows, still lead by Briston’s crunchy guitar and the thumping drum pattern.


“I'm sorry I haven't been myself And something's got me down What it is, I cannot tell I won't be satisfied with anything I've earned Fear is just a part of love And one thing I found Is love is what you deserve…”


By the conclusion of the first chorus, it has become apparent that there is some sort of internal conflict within this young man’s life that is effecting his external world. Bottling up your emotions, although at first may seem like the safest way to protect the ones you love, often leads to a disconnect within your relationships. The longer you attempt to bury the emotions you feel, the greater your chances are of becoming someone that you and your loved ones don’t even recognize. Although difficult at first, opening up about your faults and issues will almost always lead to a healthier relationship. As Briston exclaims that love is what his woman deserves the song explodes, finally releasing all of the tension he had built for the first minute and a half of the song. Additional guitars enter and rip the song open and the drums move away from their simple pattern and further drive the direction of the song. The sonic explosion you hear after this chorus is symbolic of the confession of one’s feelings and the emotional release that follows.


As the 2nd verse begins, Briston further dives into the emotions he is feeling and his relationship with those he loves.


“Driving home, and call my father on the telephone

(That is my favorite line in the song, love the delivery. Chef's kiss.) I hope you know I missed you, man Let's put it all behind us if we can Never feeling like I'm all the way home (all the way home) Stones inside my raincoat pocket, I gotta keep Oh, won't you hold them for me?


And you got a lot on your mind And your heart, it looks just like mine There's no use in wasting your time, anymore….”


Maroney addresses the distance that had come between him and his father throughout his hardships, and in an effort to repair the situation the young man calls him and expresses his love and sorrow. In instances like those talked about in this song, your own personal battles can divide some of the relationships you hold closest to your heart. The distance I refer to does not always translate to physical distance, rather emotional vacancy. You might even be speaking to these loved ones every day as if nothing had changed. However, while your internal conflicts are consuming your energy it leaves little motivation to provide the same effort in return to those you love. Acknowledging your ways and communicating a genuine desire to repair damages is the first step to “put it all behind us if we can.”


Following that verse and pre-chorus comes the song’s 2nd chorus. Lyrically it is identical to the first, however the emotions are more pronounced as this one is not dialed back musically. The guitars soar behind Briston’s vocals and the drums bounce you through Maroney’s dissection of his current situation.


“I'm sorry I haven't been myself And something's got me down What it is, I cannot tell I won't be satisfied with anything I've earned Fear is just a part of love And one thing I found Is love is what you deserve…”


The difficult thing about acknowledging what may be effecting your personal life and relationships, is that it may not always be easily visible. Self-reflection is not an easy task, and it requires asking yourself questions that you don’t always want to answer. Even then it can still be difficult to pinpoint what it is that’s got you down, or why you can’t seem to be satisfied with anything. Regardless of what comes of your emotional research, you must try not to let it affect the relationships you so desperately wish to maintain. Fear and love go hand in hand, but finding a way to ensure that the hardships do not outweigh the good is pivotal in allowing your relationship to achieve its potential.


Following the 2nd chorus Briston further releases his emotional frustration and heartache through an earsplitting guitar solo. As it starts slowly, the solo gradually builds and builds to be an excellent example lead guitar work. When a musician is able to convey the same emotions through 6 strings that they can with vocals, it shows the strength of their playing and their ability to identify the needs of the song. The solo leads perfectly into the final chorus, where Maroney leaves us with one final proclamation that he’s assessed his emotional status and decided that in order to save what he truly values, he must provide what is deserved, love.


“I'm sorry I haven't been myself And something's got me down What it is, I cannot tell I won't be terrified with anything I've earned Fear is just a part of love And one thing I found Is love is what you deserve.




ENCORE


Everyone goes through their own personal battles. Some are better at hiding them than others, but eventually if your feelings remain locked inside for too long there is bound to be some sort of external consequence. In the case of "Freakin' out on the Interstate", Maroney's feelings of discontent and uncertainty in life has taken a toll on his relationship. Ultimately he comes to the realization that opening up about his ways is the only way to salvage what has become of him and his love. Regardless of how much two hearts may look the same, each relationship is destined to face some type of adversity. Sometimes you're so consumed by what you might be dealing with that it makes it difficult to see the full picture. However, as soon as you take a step back and assess the situation you're able to digest what needs to be done in order to repair the damages that might have been sustained due to your previous ways. It takes a world of strength to admit your faults and address that you're not feeling like yourself. But a lesson I've learned is that transparency about emotions and struggles will only lead to a healthier relationship moving forward.



Shane what do we think of that vintage ND shirt?

It's never easy for a musician to pair the emotion of their lyrics and the sound of their song in perfect cohesion. In fact, it might be one of the most difficult things that can be done in the world of songwriting. I don't know if this is the "best" song of the last five years, but what I can say with certainty is that I have not heard a song that so perfectly captures the mood of the track in not only the lyrics, but also the sound of the song as well as Freakin' out has. I applaud Briston for having the capacities to assess his emotions and the ability to then couple those thoughts with a kick ass indie rock song. The fact that this man wrote this when he was hardly out of his teenage years speaks volumes about his maturity, his talent, and his self awareness. It also makes me reconsider the things I was doing with my life when I was 20.




I wouldn't expect a comment any different from a man named Jeff, but you know what Jeff? You're right. "Freakin' out on the Interstate" IS a very interesting song. I'd even venture to say its a pretty good song. But what do I know? I'm just Allegedly Blog's Music Snob.





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