Premiere: Good Old War Conclude Their EP Series with Radiant, Uplifting Beauty

A fitting conclusion to their ‘Part of Us’ EP, Good Old War’s raw, spirited “Halfway to Ruin” radiates beauty and inspiration with its uplifting message of perseverance, hope, and love.

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We like to connect with people we wouldn’t have otherwise connected with…

Indie folk band Good Old War have been enchanting audiences for over a decade, and to this day they’re discovering new ways to find meaning and connection with and through their art. The band’s new EP Part of Us, out today, offers a healthy dose of this raw human embrace.

Part of Us - Good Old War

Part of Us – Good Old War

Today’s only halfway to ruin
It still could be turning around
There’s hours to come
in the warmth of the sun

We don’t have to hide in the rain
The sky is on our side today

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the acoustic session video for “Halfway to Ruin,” off Part of Us, the third and final EP of Good Old War’s 3-part EP series (out now via Nettwerk). Following September 2017’s Part of Me and February 2018’s Part of YouPart of Us is an exciting collection of songs that finds Good Old War embracing the good in life, even in the face of hardship, turbulence, and struggle.

The final track off this final EP, “Halfway to Ruin” is a fitting sendoff into the night full of light and earnest warmth. The longtime trio of Keith Goodwin, Tim Arnold, and Dan Schwartz — who formed Good Old War ten years ago — pack their series’ conclusion with stirring vocal harmonies and an uplifting message of life’s possibility in a song that is part-lullaby, part-ballad, and in truth, part-anthem.

Before you showed up I was broken
Before we began I was through
I couldn’t resist when I first stole a kiss
The warm night when I got my way
Nothing’s going to take that away

Speaking to Atwood Magazine, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Keith Goodwin reflects on the track’s significance and its place on their new EP. “Honestly, I think it might be the melody,” he muses. “We’ve been playing the song for friends and family, and they seem to react right away to it without knowing what the song is even about. All of our songs are written about our personal experiences so they all hold equal emotional significance to us.”

Good Old War music

Good Old War

Lyrically, “Halfway to Ruin” reads like a letter designed to inspire hope and confidence. Beaming with a glass-is-half-full mentality (a notion alluded to in the title), “Halfway to Ruin” encourages its subject to cheer up, using language like “the sky is on our side today” to offer guidance and perspective. While we can read this as a letter from one person to another, we can also read this as a letter to oneself: A dear me style note you might write in good times, so that when you do feel down, you can look back on it and cheer yourself up.

In going about our days with a healthy outlook, it’s important that we recognize all that we have in our lives, and that we truly take advantage of it. “Halfway to Ruin” is a raw, open look at how both the good and the bad contribute to our balanced whole. The weight of honesty falls hard on the heart as Good Old War blend their voices into a rich, impassioned and vulnerable chorus:

I follow you higher
You help me along
I don’t want to end up alone
like an old sad song
Said hey don’t you take me for granted
Said I won’t if you come along

It’s a reminder that even the people encouraging happiness and optimism feel the depths of sadness and sorrow.

Good Old War perform "Halfway to Ruin"

Good Old War perform “Halfway to Ruin”

I don’t want to end up alone like an old sad song…

Coming on the day of Part of Us‘ EP release, the “Halfway to Ruin” acoustic video delivers a stripped-down rendition full of earthy grace. “We write the songs to be strong with just an acoustic guitar and vocals,” Goodwin says of Good Old War’s music. “All we really had to do was leave all the other instruments at home and perform the song how we wrote it. We like to keep it simple.”

Simple or not, Good Old War have a way with words and melodies that hits home. There’s no denying the incredible beauty radiating from their latest offering.

“There is no theme across the EP. This collection of songs, like all of our records, is about each song individually,” Goodwin explains. “The song that resonates with me most is ‘Ian’s Song.’ The lyrics were written by a coworker of my cousin’s, for another coworker of theirs who was battling pancreatic cancer. She asked me if I could make a song out of it so I did. We loved it so much we decided to share it with the world. There is a line in there… “I’m not afraid of leaving, it’s what I’m leaving behind.” Gets me every time. When you have kids, they are all that really matters. From what I’ve heard, the song meant a lot to Ian’s family and friends. That’s why we are still making music. We like to connect with people we wouldn’t have otherwise connected with … sometimes on a deeply emotional level, and other times we are just having a huge party.”


Looking back on the year’s 3-EP Parts Trilogy project, Good Old War seem happy with their work and excited to keep moving forward.

“It’s been a fun experience,” Goodwin reflects. “We wanted to try releasing music throughout the year instead of just one record. It gave us the opportunity to stay creative between tours. Usually, you know, you release a record and then support it for 18 months and then take a break to experience and enjoy life outside rock venues and off the highway, and then you write new material based on those experiences. This was similar, but we were able to create and release new music more often. I’m glad we saw it through, but I’m ready to go back and make a proper album. Who knows, maybe it’ll have a theme.”

Watch Good Old War’s “Halfway to Ruin (Acoustic Session)” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stream their new EP Part of Us, out now!

I follow you higher
You help me along
I don’t want to end up alone
like an old sad song
Said hey don’t you take me for granted
Said I won’t if you come along
Stream: “Halfway to Ruin” – Good Old War

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Part of Us - Good Old War

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Mitch Mosk

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