You decide which songs live — and which never get made.
“What That Means”
It began in Louis’ 2008 Chevy Malibu, cruising on Sepulveda Boulevard. Still a duo, Back On Fire needed a hit as big as their ambitions. What That Means was that first hit, showcasing beautiful classical melodies with fire beats. That group is no more, but this banger remains — the legacy of a ghost genre that never came to be. What you hear on this track is all Louis’ composition. Support it, and you’ll find out “What That Means.”
I think of harmony the way modern listeners think of a beat: it can say something all by itself. And where a beat can get you dancing, a string quartet can get you feeling. This piece, conceived as a wedding processional, shines with grace and bittersweet beauty. The strings enter one by one, like flower girls. The bride is a melody, flowing down the aisle from the high E string to the cadence that will seal her vows. If you don’t know what these terms mean, don’t worry. Your heart will understand.
“In Your Way”
In Your Way is all about simplicity. The simplicity of rock and roll. The simplicity of standing in front of someone. Sometimes, words don’t come to us. Sometimes, even our friends seem out of reach. We need to remember that it doesn’t need to be hard to get a message through. Simple can be powerful. It can save a life.
“Fly Away (Fondly I Tell You)”
The Christmas genre has a long and winding history — as winding as Saint Nick’s flight plan. Contributions to its hallowed standards have come from hymns, jazz, surfer rock, pop, and many more. It has brought into the mainstream a characteristic of religious music in general: a focus on time. In this case, a time of the year. Most successful Christmas art (musical or not) shares this focus.
My contribution to the genre is in keeping with these observations. I drew inspiration from my experience playing traditional Irish dance music all across North America. These events are a whirlwind, bringing thousands of dance competitors into a small area for a magical string of days. And then, when the competitions are over, a surreal emptiness fills the space where crowds had been not hours before. Everyone is off to the airport, to fly away. This modern ability to travel quickly only heightens the impact of time on special events like these. I find them reminiscent of holidays in that respect. My song, Fly Away, discusses the joy and magic of such fleeting times of year.
“When You Left”
Who says a country boy needs to be from the country? A lot of people, probably. But I believe this song proves them wrong. My Dad left his country, and all his family behind, bringing only his music and the love of his life. I grew up on that music — old, lonesome country songs and all.
My Dad is an interesting guy. I never really knew how I felt about him until I saw him lose someone. He pulled out the old country songs to get through it. I would watch him at his window spot, thinking about his parents who were gone. I wrote this song to put myself in his shoes, to imagine a world without this incredible man. I hope it’s a long way off.