Trust me this day is not the end, but the birth of effervescent love that I’ll transmit to my own
Never trust a happy beat: No matter how carefree a song may sound, lyrics almost always reveal deeper motive and meaning. This could not be truer for Everything Turned to Color’s new single, “Once Upon a Lifetime.” A melody with the easygoing, nonchalant attitude of a She & Him tune disguises a lament for more time with a lost friend.
Once upon a time in New York City
Once upon your life
The world you wished and hoped for cracks wide open
With just a roll of the dice
From everything to none at all
You were the crutch I never saw
‘Neath the ghost light hiss
Always only yours
“Once Upon a Lifetime” – Everything Turned to Color
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Once Upon a Lifetime,” the sophomore single off Brooklyn trio Everything Turned to Color’s debut album Life Imagined (independently out June 23, 2017). Comprised of brothers Bryan and Kyle Weber and their classically-trained neighbor, Neha Jiwrajka, Everything Turned to Color pay as much attention to sweet, enchanting harmony as they do to thoughtful, probing lyrics. “Once Upon a Lifetime” is bittersweet, a heartfelt expression of loss, nostalgia and longing.
I was hoping I could steal a little time
To chew the fat and flush out all the lies
‘Cause once upon a lifetime you were mine
“The danceable Beach Boys-esque feeling of “Once Upon A Lifetime” couldn’t be more deceiving,” says the band of their latest release. “Written about the death of a childhood friend, the song flips back and forth in narrative between what is and what could have been. Bryan and Neha trade vocal lines as if in conversation, with both parties asking for more time to sift through what really went wrong.”
We don’t know the time we have until it’s too late. We take for granted those around us, assuming that no matter how far we dive into our own rabbit holes, eventually when we come back home everyone will be there to greet us with bright smile and warm hugs. If only life were so easy!
Wasted days maybe but by good fortune
The memories are nice
But ‘neath the ruins of that old back porch swing
You were just killing time
Lost everything yet I absolve
You were the fixer of my flaws
Future gone amiss
Always only yours
Everything Turned to Color deal with death in a very provocative way: We hear an internal struggle between honoring the life they knew and the time they had together, and mourning the time that was lost, and the life that was lost alongside it. One the one hand, it makes sense that they opted for a happy melody… yet on the other hand, one has to wonder what the darker version sounded like. When did it go from wallowing in the struggle, to attempting celebration?
I’ll see you soon I hope my friend
Your soul’s the beacon light that guides us home
Trust me this day is not the end
But the birth of effervescent love that I’ll transmit to my own
The trio’s closing verse is particularly powerful, as they lay the foundation for honoring the memory of their friend through action – carrying on the “effervescent love” that was lost, through the instilling of such values in the next generation. This is the richest part of the song, and it knowingly ends in a brief pause before the final chorus.
Everything Turned to Color; even the band’s name suggests bright, vivid imagery! The Brooklynites deliver through acoustic enrichment, embracing deceptively simple, yet daringly catchy melodies. Guitars flail throughout the sugary “Once Upon a Lifetime,” with cascading riffs and shimmering chords keeping the background in constant motion as the trio unleash torrents of soft, playful vocal harmonies. Hopefully their songs are not so bubble-gum that those deeper meanings are lost; “Once Upon a Lifetime” is absolutely beautiful because of its moving blend of music and sentiment.
Life Imagined is out June 23, 2017. In advance of the album release, Everything Turned to Color will be touring both coasts extensively – see tour dates below, and look out for more from this charming trio. It may not be happily ever after, but “Once Upon a Lifetime” still steals our hearts.
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cover © 2017 Taylor Ballantyne