Today’s Song: Faulkner’s Anthem “Halo Me” Finds Strength in Hardship

Faulkner
Recommended If You Like: Young Rising Sons, Young the Giant, Train, American Authors

There’s a lot of deep, intense emotion packed into alternative rock band Faulkner’s latest single “Halo Me.” In the chorus, it’s a cry for an outstretched hand; in the verse, it’s a personal reflection. Catchy and upbeat, “Halo Me” is not your typical brooding number: Its musical positivity tethers Faulkner’s dark, intimate lyrics, giving them a lighter weight and allowing them to ring out clearly. You’d never realize the depth of the words until you study them. Once you do, “Halo Me” takes on a whole new level of meaning.

I know this is hard on me
This is hard on you, burden proof
I know it’s your masterpiece
It’s your symphony, rebel youth
Say, I say, I say, halo

Watch: “Halo Me” – Faulkner


Currently based in Venice, CA and with roots in New York City, Faulkner independently released their debut EP Revanchist in May 2016 after over a year of built-up anticipation, and it seems they have yet to look back.

Consisting of Lucas Asher, Eric Scullin, Dimitri Farougias, and Christian Hogan, the “bi-coastal rockers” worked with hip-hop legend RZA and other notables on both their EP and their upcoming debut album, but names mean nothing if the songs don’t stick.

To Faulkner’s credit, their music does more than stick.

It’s a special song that opens itself to deep, multi-faceted interpretation, and “Halo Me” does just that. “Never thought it’s killing me / my team are family / eyes red like bordeaux,” sings lead vocalist and songwriter Lucas Asher on the song’s opening verse. One gleans poetic nuggets of personal strife, triumph, and everything in-between in these sparse, delicately-presented pop lyrics. Is Asher succeeding or failing? Is this song even about him? Let’s find out.

Vision will sway. Mountains will quake
Seas, swallow their sides. One thing I know
The world always goes to they who decide

Spiritual undertones begin to crop up as Faulkner dip into the pre-chorus, increasing their momentum ever so slightly. “Halo Me” is structurally tough to pull off because it doesn’t offer much in the way of musical tension and release, saving that fight for the lyrics and what they represent. “I was never going to put this song out, but I thought it may be a source of inspiration for anybody else who went through a difficult time,” says Asher, explaining how he wrote the song without the intention of anyone else hearing it.

“Visions will sway / mountains will quake.” It’s a c’est la vie-type statement, without the French glitter. “Seas swallow their sides.” Life happens: It moves at its own pace, and you can only control so much. A darkness shrouds these lyrics. Asher’s final line in the pre-chorus denotes a difficult coming-to-terms with determinist theory, as he succumbs to our collective helplessness:

I know this is hard on me
This is hard on you, burden proof
I know it’s your masterpiece
It’s your symphony, rebel youth

The band explodes into melodic wonder in the chorus as Asher directly addresses whoever it is that left his side. Musically, “Halo Me” is an anthem waiting to be sung time and again: Its words are easy, and its melody lends itself well to constant repetition. Below the surface, the lyrics paint a stark picture of grief. Faulkner’s words are trying to make sense of one’s place in the world; trying to move on, burdened by knowledge. “Hey, hey, halo, cover me,” sings Asher at the chorus’ peak, asking who or what ever lies out there to be his shield as he continues to soldier on in this world.

Perhaps the lyrical subtlety was meant to shield the songwriter; perhaps it was meant to protect the memory of the deceased. Submitting oneself to life’s fragile reality is no small task; on “Halo Me,” Faulkner humbly expose their human vulnerabilities to the world, stepping up to fight another day.

Time is gone, don’t let them say.
You’re the one, but you fade away.
I believe your nimbus glow, see you there halo. hello.
I don’t let go, I don’t let go, cause It’s my show, I say.

Faulkner accomplish what so many poets and songwriters refuse or fail to achieve on “Halo Me,” finding strength in hardship and using it to craft a catchy message of life, positivity, and endurance.

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cover photo: Faulkner // no credit

Revanchist – Faulkner

Revanchist - Faulkner

Revanchist – Faulkner

:: Faulkner Live 2016 ::

09/16 – Pianos NYC7:30pm
09/17 – Friends and Lovers7:30pm

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