Are you still human under all that glow or am I the only one?
Are we sometimes going too deep? You can read too much into anything if you try hard enough. Intent on extracting a world’s worth of knowledge by shaking trees, we sometimes let our imaginations lead us astray, diving deeper than perhaps we ought to into songs, videos, paintings, plays, and more when sometimes that substance we long for simply isn’t there. The Beatles trolled the world with their song “Glass Onion,” playing into conspiracy theorist and journalist fantasies with convoluted, half-present lyrics that John Lennon wrote “just to confuse everybody a bit more,” per an interview featured in The Beatles Anthology.
It’s a shame I don’t practice what I preach. Indie rock band HUNNY give us plenty to think about on their new song “Colder Parts.”
We’re trading our worn out hearts now for colder parts
Will we end up dancing alone
Head over heels for watches and wires
I don’t intend on selling my soul
Listen: “Colder Parts” – HUNNY
There’s a certain quality about HUNNY vocalist Jason Yarger’s voice that keeps the band’s music fresh and exciting upon every listen. He flexes his syllables out to match his meaning and feeling, injecting as much expression into the faintest breath as he does a howling shout. Somewhat of a cross between New Radicals vocalist Gregg Alexander and Brandon Flowers, Yarger’s voice is personal and huge – the perfect combination for HUNNY’s colorful flavor of melodic guitar rock.
When you’re listening to a song on repeat – and it’s so easy to listen to HUNNY on repeat – you start poking into the words. “Colder Parts” starts with a kick and a scream as Yarger belts out:
Are you still human under all that glow
or am I the only one?
chalk it up to bad timing
and sticking around
Damn, kid. Going straight for the jugular, HUNNY’s introduction is an accusation to some familiar face. It could be an address to a former loved one, and this is a break-up song. Maybe it’s to a friend who’s gone off the deep end. I accidentally read the first line and thought of Donald Trump… Do with that, fair reader, what you will.
Whoever you is doesn’t matter too much; relationships are a universal subject matter to which all listeners can relate, and there’s not a single one of us out there who doesn’t know someone who has changed, shall we say, “for the worst.” HUNNY’s subject has lost that human spark – perhaps there’s a materialist focus; perhaps selfishness has seeped in like infection.
HUNNY’s chorus strikes at the heart, or the lack of heart, of the matter. “We’re trading our worn out hearts now for colder parts, will we end up dancing alone? Head over heels for watches and wires; I don’t intend on selling my soul.” The narrator is not going to stick around and wait for their world to implode; enough’s enough. The relationship has gone sour. More important things have emerged that have left a shared bond discarded and decaying.
The two sides don’t see eye to eye. The second verse finds the narrator observing the opposite party’s seeming point of view:
You wanna set my dirty hair on fire
You’re gonna stop my hurting
Yeah, life’s hard
One thing most folks learn quickly in a relationship is that trying to “fix” another does more harm than good in nearly all situations. The backhand “set my dirty hair on fire” comment plays into the chorus’ observance of materialism. The narrator and person of interest hold different values, the former believing these material ideals to lack substantive value. These outer changes are not going to alter what lies within – you cannot become a “better person” by dressing a certain way or by manipulating your hair to fit a fashion; it doesn’t happen, and Yarger makes that implicitly clear with the derisive jab, “life’s hard.”
“Colder Parts” is a blasting anthemic rocker that stands up there with the likes of The Killers, Panic! at the Disco, A Silent Film, and every other band who wants listeners on their feet and dancing their hearts out. New wave mixes with indie rock to produce music that is at once fresh, but also relatable. Lift the hood up, though, and for the second you stop dancing, you can embrace HUNNY’s deep meaning. The ability to inject meaning into fun music is one in a million, and HUNNY make it seem all too second nature.
The world is going to change around us, whether we like it or not. Time makes fools of us all, but it doesn’t mean we have to stay silent. “Colder Parts” is an exercise of that right to speak out – to call a spade a spade. It’s a reassurance that we don’t have to pretend everything is okay when it’s not, but it’s also a reminder that things sometimes change for the worse, and not the better.
You have control, though. You can break out, if need be. You might just need a little push.
One can dig as far below the surface into HUNNY’s lyrics as one wants. Why? The reason is simple: The dynamics between two can apply to nearly any situation – and an audience will see whatever it wants to see. Let the song be malleable, then! Let it speak to your life in whatever means suits you best: Some of the best art is the kind that is thought-provoking, without leading. Empower yourself through music; dance your heart out. “Colder Parts” allows us to draw on personal experience and reflect on that, shaking off the bad and embracing the good while we dance to HUNNY’s latest infectious hit.