Today’s Song: Self-Awareness and Validation on NGOD’s “Can You Hear Me?”

NGOD © Daniel Alexander Harris

Brit-rock exudes cool with every reverberated vocal and wailing guitar – it epitomizes “Britishness” with every chord. Sonically, it is hyper-charged; emotionally, it is stimulating. NGOD, an alt-rock group from Bradford, UK, acutely tap into this feeling, utilizing sharp guitar riffs and punctuating drums coupled with distinct, angst-ridden vocals in their latest single, “Can You Hear Me?

“Can You Hear Me?” serves as a statement about the “north England vs. south England” mentality that is ever-present within British culture. Southerners often look at Northerners as though they aren’t good enough, and Northerners look at Southerners as being too posh. For example, in the track “Girls” by The 1975 (a Manchester—northern—band), Matty Healy scoffs, “She’s so Southern / so she feels the cold.” Northerners feel like Southerners overreact too much, and need to move on from frivolity.

Listen: “Can You Hear Me?” – NGOD


NGOD - "Can You Hear Me?" Artwork

NGOD – “Can You Hear Me?” Artwork

NGOD notes in “Can You Hear Me?” that the divide between north/south has created generalizations; southerners think that northerners don’t try, nor are they at the same social caliber.

Say hello,
Can you hear me?
If you can at all,
Then take away the feeling
That I’m no good,
I’m too lazy,
When I’m just another fed up
Northern Baby.

Northerners are seldom treated with the same value as Southerners; stereotypically, Northerners are working-class, Southerners are posh elitists. Of course, this isn’t true for every person in each respective region, however it is a nonetheless a label that has permeated throughout British culture.

Additionally, not only does the track obviously acknowledge this uniquely British issue, but it also feels like a social commentary on a broader theme: present society’s feelings toward millennials; millennial culture is too this or too that. The track is ultimately an anthemic cry for independence and validation, as the song’s spitfire instrumentals further elucidate this sentiment. It is brisk and infectious; a palatable rock tune that will have you bobbing your head and bouncing your feet.

NGOD maintain a deft self-awareness throughout the track (a trademark of a true millennial, not to mention a true Brit), and allow for their music to do the talking. “I’m no good; I’m too lazy,” croons lead vocalist Samuel Augustine, simply. Sure, this is a pigeonholed statement vis-à-vis the north-versus-south, but can it not be a millenarian thought as well? Certainly – this is merely the way the younger generation of today’s society is perceived. Augustine and NGOD are stating what is already thought about them, both as a millennial and a Northerner; they said the words so you don’t have to.

No I don’t need
Their labels
Yeah, yeah their shtick
Motivates us

Though it may not have initially been written as a millennial anthem of sorts, it can certainly be interpreted this way. With such a niche, overtly British subject matter, one can’t help but try and extend beyond that and attach one’s own ideals to the track. “Can You Hear Me?” is subverting stereotypes by acknowledging them outright; a beat-ya-to-the-punch commentary about life and the perception of it.

Brit-rock epitomizes Brit-feeling, but that does not mean it is limited to that.NGOD and “Can You Hear Me?” successfully manage to subjugate their naysayers, and do so while utilizing impressive sonic fluidity. “Can You Hear Me?” is the self-aware, rhetorical eff-you to anyone who thinks you’re worth less than you are, and has no problem in asserting its validity to anyone who says otherwise.

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NGOD © Daniel Alexander Harris

“Can You Hear Me?” – NGOD

:: lyrics ::

Always something going on
Always something going on
Always something going on
Always something going on

Yeah I need
Some excitement
Little shocks
Little lighting
Twenty something
With a sweet tooth
Undervalued
With a deaf youth

Say hello
Can you hear me
If you can at all
Then take away the feeling

That I’m no good
I’m too lazy
When I’m just another fed up
Northern Baby
No I don’t need
Their labels
Yeah, yeah their shtick
Motivates us
Segregated (YEAH)
I’ma show you
No I don’t need no sympathy
Want va va voom

This is boring

Say hello
Can you hear me
If you can at all
Then take away the feeling
That I’m no good
I’m too Lazy
When I’m just another fed up
Northern Baby

Always something going on
Always something going on
Always something kicking off
Always something kicking off

Say hello
Can you hear me
I’m all done
So baby bleed me
Say hello
Can you hear me
I’m all done
So baby bleed me

Maggie McHale

Maggie is the Chief Music Director for Atwood Magazine, currently living in Philadelphia. She also works as a music manager and cultural liaison via her management company, PBG MGMT. She is heavily involved in the arts and music scene in the City of Brotherly Love, working previously for as a digital marketer for Fame House, a Universal Music Group subsidiary, and as a staff writer for JUMP Magazine. A self-proclaimed “hug enthusiast” and dog lover, Maggie also enjoys fashion, travel, the paranormal, and drinking way too much coffee.