Premiere: The Poignant Beauty of F&M’s Enchanting “Lessons From Losers”

F&M’s poignant, harrowing song “Lessons From Losers” is a wondrous ode to those who opt for beauty and love, even in the face of loss and darkness.

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Times are tough for believers in truth and righteousness, especially for those living in North America. Darkness has spread like a wildfire; xenophobia, bigotry, and prejudice of all sorts have been normalized and dare we say, accepted, by influential media outlets and politicians. This is not normal, and it cannot be the new normal: Yet this is the world we live in. But don’t let these words get you down; instead, let them inspire you to fight twice as hard; to commit to acceptance and openness, to civil liberties, to the actual truth, and whatever else you believe in your heart is right and just! F&M’s poignant, harrowing song “Lessons From Losers” is a wondrous ode to those who opt for beauty and love, even in the face of loss and darkness.

Lessons From Losers - F&M

Lessons From Losers – F&M

Lonely bird keep on, keep on, oh
risking all your happiness,
risk all your happy happy-ness.
Lonely bird keep on, keep on, oh
risking all your happiness,
risk all your happiness on me.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Lessons From Losers,” the the lead single and title track off F&M’s upcoming sixth album, Lessons From Losers (out September 21, 2018). The “wine soaked baroque noir” duo of Rebecca and Ryan Anderson, F&M have been one of Canada’s best-kept secrets since the pair began releasing content over a decade ago. Best understood to the casual ear as an “alternative folk” act, F&M pack their soothing music with incredible degrees of resounding emotion. Their third album, 2010’s Sincerely, F&M, was No. 1 on Canada’s national folk charts for six weeks, and in fact all of their previous albums have appeared on the Earshot charts at some point.

F&M describe their latest record as an expression of their fondness for those who “choose thoughtful beauty and art over winning.” As the album’s title and closing track, “Lessons From Losers” conveys a heavy, evocative message. Consider it a send-off from the band as we venture back into the wilderness of life – a nugget we can hold on to.

Keep on, keep on risking all your happiness, it is such a joy to lose it all with you!” F&M sing passionately toward the song’s end. “Oh with you, dear! Let’s keep aching, taking lessons from losers.”

“These words came swiftly while I was playing with some distorted organ sounds – the very sounds used in the final recording,” Rebecca Anderson tells Atwood Magazine. “All that was needed was for Ryan to sing along, and for our long time collaborator and co-producer Bryan Reichert to add some stirring string arrangements. While some songs take time to really take shape – this one was a dream! We think the video compliments this musical dream.”

F&M © Francis A Willey

F&M © Francis A Willey

Said music video is a moving encapsulation of F&M’s vision for their song. Directed by Greg Gillespie, the visual conveys the passage of time and our own transience; how despite the immediacy of this moment, and the next moment, our lives are here and then gone. We are here and then gone; so what do we do with the time we have here? How do we choose to live our lives?

Rebecca Anderson explains, “Greg had the lovely idea to add a lot of stillness with slowed down shots and by playing with the focus. The song speaks of the loneliness and the loss involved in the act of creating, but we hope, balances that with the sense of wonder and joy in having taken the risk.”

Lonely little bird,
at the moment of your execution
you will hold on to,
hold tightly to,
the one who will see it through!
Lonely bird keep on, keep on, oh
risking all your happiness,
risk all your happy happy-ness.
F&M © Greg Gillespie

F&M © Greg Gillespie

Images fade. Bodies fade. We are remembered for the impact we leave on the world. If we truly accept our limited existence, then how might that affect our daily interaction with life itself? F&M’s “Lessons From Losers” is a shot in the dark – a bold hail mary awakening full of heavy hues and bittersweet, emotive melodies. Thought-provoking and life-enhancing, it’s the perfect way to introduce their new album, as well as the perfect way to end it: Let’s keep aching, taking lessons from losers.

Stream “Lessons From Losers” exclusively on Atwood Magazine. F&M’s sixth album is out September 21, 2018.

Stream: “Lessons From Losers” – F&M

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Lessons From Losers - F&M

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📸 © Francis A Willey
art by Amy Freelend

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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