A Will Away – lyrical interpretations

After posting this review, Matt from A Will Away got in touch with me to talk about some of the lyrical themes present in the EP, which has definitely affected my interpretation for the better. He took the time to explain to me the concept behind the EP and the process of writing it, which sparked a really great discussion about different perspectives. I asked for his permission to share the below explanation, which is part of his initial email discussing Cold Weather:

I decided to shoot you a quick email to thank you for writing a review of Cold Weather and also to thank you for giving me a new perspective on how people might view the record. Cold Weather is called Cold Weather because we consider the climate to be a lot of what makes us who we are here in New England.

The idea of being a product of one’s environment is one that we carry with us (see our 2012 Full-Length Product of Your Environment) but on Cold Weather I made the decision to write songs from the perspective of the people who raised us and the people we love. Stepping into another person’s shoes as the protagonist for each song was a very different lyrical style than I’ve ever taken on in the past and I was very curious to see how people would receive it. I’m extremely glad that the first four tracks of the record landed well with you.

The Masochist’s Daughter is a song written from the perspective of two people that have been very large parts of my own life who’s marriages were plagued by infidelity. People who never had the strength to properly stand up for themselves and continue to this day to be in unhappy and unhealthy marriages. I attempted to capture the internal fury of being a spouse who is tied in life and love to a person who they could no longer trust or respect. I attempted to stand up for people with words who were too weak to do so for themselves with their actions.

Knowing that I likely won’t change your opinion on the track regardless I at least wanted to make sure that you didn’t see me as a misogynist. The weight of that song is a pain I feel every time I sing it – an ache for some people that I love in the same way that the rest of the record has created an emotional bond between myself and the protagonists I chose to write about.

In a music scene plagued by white teenagers whining about their problems I can completely understand writing me off as one of them because of the language and tone used in that track. I tried to tackle a lot of my thoughts, philosophies and opinions in 5 songs and it seems that in some way I fell short of my goal with that song despite its popularity.

I’m really glad that Matt got in touch, and I really commend his ambition in writing a record from so many different perspectives. While the track is still not my favourite on the record, it has changed how I think about it, and it’s made me appreciate the other tracks even more. Check out Cold Weather for yourself at Giant MKT’s Bandcamp.

Review: A Will Away – Cold Weather [EP]

After posting this review, Matt from A Will Away got in touch with me to talk about some of the lyrical themes present in the EP, which has definitely affected my interpretation for the better. Please check out his side of the story here.

A Will Away are a pop-punk band from Connecticut, and Cold Weather is their new EP. Have we got that in mind, fact fans? Good. It’s their first release with Giant MKT, and well, its name certainly lives up to what’s happening outside, but not necessarily on the EP. For the most part, Cold Weather is a warm, sunny affair with beautiful, guitar-driven hooks.

The first four tracks on the EP are outstanding. No, seriously. Matt Carlson’s vocals are full of emotion, with some fantastic little quirks, the rhythm section keeps everything perfect and the guitar goes so much deeper than your average band in this scene right now. It’s uplifting, extremely-self aware and impassioned. ‘Carousel’, the EP’s opener, starts out swinging with some great drums. ‘True North’ is perfectly polished, with mystical, jangly guitar and poignant reflections on faith. There are choruses that pack a proper punch, outros that leave you hanging on for more.

And then, as it leads into ‘The Masochist’s Daughter’, it all goes a bit south.

It’s not all about the lyrics. I promise, it’s not. In fact, were I to listen to this EP without that song, I’d probably give it full marks. It’s bouncy and fun, with loads of playful riffs, but with a deeper understanding of melody. However, there are plenty of bands out there who sing about heartbreak, unrequited love and betrayal without sounding like total douchebags – we aren’t in the grip of 2003’s “new-wave emo” any more. Ladies do crappy stuff too – I am one, I know. But there’s these sly little moments, or outright in ‘The Masochist’s Daughter’, where Cold Weather feels like an attack, like a Cute Is What We Aim For-style sneer on girls everywhere. And that makes me feel uncomfortable. And I know this band is better than that.

So ignore ‘The Masochist’s Daughter’. Rewind to the good stuff about living well. Listen to the guitars and enjoy pure pop-punk joy.

3.5 out of 5 high fives!