Premiere: Jon and Roy’s “The Better Life” Embraces Today for a Hopeful Tomorrow

Jon and Roy © Kim Jay Photography

The grass is always greener, isn’t it? There’s something better out there; maybe it’s waiting for us, maybe it’s out of our reach. Jon and Roy’s “The Better Life” is a warm, hopeful ode to that other side, a light tune with its head held high.

I’m heading for the other side
Where the light is always right
Where we don’t have all these heavy plights
And the loving overrides
And tho’ I’m told this time will never come
I want it anyhow
I’m going towards the better life
And I’m ready for it now
Listen: “The Better Life” – Jon & Roy

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The Better Life,” the latest single off Jon and Roy’s upcoming seventh studio album, The Road Ahead is Golden (out June 9, 2017 via Blue Heron Music). The Victoria, BC pair of Jon Middleton and Roy Vizer (with Louis Sadava on bass) recorded their latest offering in a small, rural West Coast studio – a perfect environment for the natural-flowing compositions that issue forth from the album.

The Road Ahead Is Golden - Jon and Roy

The Road Ahead Is Golden – Jon and Roy

“The Better Life” is the quintessence of Jon and Roy’s current, impassioned state: A peaceful, easy feeling courses through Jon Middleton’s warm acoustic guitar strokes and organic, gruff voice. “I’m heading for the other side, where the light is always right,” he sings in the opening chorus, a relaxed air of confidence guiding his way. Vizer provides a steady beat, complementing Middleton’s tone with tight hits that keep the song driving forward.

Don’t mistake the song’s breezy weight for a lack of depth: “Better Life” is critical in its observation of today’s world. We have a lot of stuff to sort through before we actually make it to that other side, but Jon and Roy appear hopeful that humankind can make it there. After all, The Road Ahead Is Golden

Pent up like water in a dam
Angry like heavy metal songs
Messed up like all this news of guns
That like to get drawn
Seeing the problems here at hand
Caught up with useless news and posts
Helpless and feeling like a ghost
Wearing nice clothes
Jon and Roy © Kim Jay Photography

Jon and Roy © Kim Jay Photography

We have to work hard to get to that better place, but it’s worth the fight. “This song is essentially about pursuing what you feel is right and true, and not what you’ve been told is,” explains the band. We are well past the Information Age; one might call 2017 the age of information overload, what with minute-to-minute news coverage and a constant barrage of social media postings from friends and strangers telling us what to think, who to listen to, and how to live our lives. Speaking from experience, it helps to turn off the “updates” and go for a quiet thirty-minute walk each day.

In these modern times
where we’re disconnected from
Ourselves and this land
And we’re always on the run
Can we turn about and notice what we are?
Living beings in the stars

In those moments of solitude, we can think on our own, recharge our batteries, and reflect on life. We should always strive to move forward – our days are short and numbered, but they need not be squandered in dull drudgery. Believe in yourself; think for yourself; be the leader of your own path. Live consciously, not passively.

Jon and Roy © Kim Jay Photography

Jon and Roy © Kim Jay Photography

In the spirit of a true folk tune, Jon and Roy’s “The Better Life” offers a strong, profoundly poetic and intimately personal take on today’s world. You can take it or leave it, but if you do listen, listen well: This is the kind of song that makes the world a better place. Jon and Roy believe in their dream of a new tomorrow, the other side “where we don’t have all these heavy plights, and the loving overrides.” Do you?

If so, let’s get there together. Jon and Roy’s promising new album The Road Ahead Is Golden is out June 9 via Blue Heron Music. Keep up with the band below, and support their message through spreading love and sharing this powerful new song.

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The Road Ahead Is Golden - Jon and Roy

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cover © Kim Jay Photography

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com