What do we do when we feel like giving up? We push forward some more. Porlolo’s hauntingly sweet “Awards” is a testament to the fire and might of the unrelenting human spirit, a warm and solemn affirmation to see things through and stay true to our paths.
Got a light inside
But the shade’s been drawn
And the night is long
So hold on
And the fire inside
Well, it ain’t so warm
But it’s hanging on
To my edges worn
Listen: “Awards” – Porlolo
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Awards,” the title track off Porlolo’s new EP (independently out April 27, 2018). The musical project led by Erin Roberts, Porlolo began in Denver in 2002 and has been on a constant journey of discovery ever since. The three-track Awards EP delivers a pristine blend of sweet folk and evocative indie rock, finding Roberts in peak songwriting fitness as she dives deep into personal experience to deliver a song that truly anyone and everyone can cling to – for hope, guidance, and so much more.
“Awards” immediately draws listener deep into Roberts’ humanity, as she sings the opening line, “Got a light inside, but the shade’s been drawn.” There’s an undeniable intensity to this remark; as “Alive” opens into an earnest chorus, Porlolo not only expresses a need for relief and fulfillment, but also a passionate drive to move forward – to keep that spark alive:
Send an old smoke signal, send a Saint Bernard
Give a cold call asking on my behalf
I gotta long list of ways
that you could bring me on home
I won’t be losing this
Not losing this
“Awards was written during a really tough time after the birth of my second child,” Erin Roberts tells Atwood Magazine. “I was exhausted and trying to participate in the music community as I had prior to having kids, and the experience left me unfulfilled and hollowed out. I was also really struggling with my own identity as an artist, as a parent musician, and an aging human in the world.”
We feel the weight of the world falling on Roberts’ shoulders: Her music drags in the verse, echoing her own heavy-hearted uncertainty about the road ahead. That melancholy seems to dissipate, to a certain extent, in each chorus: She believes in what can be, and seems determined to get there. “Somewhere in the darkness, and through total dissolution of self, I found a belligerent optimism that felt like a tiny fire inside,” Roberts shares. “And it felt and continues to feel that the most important thing I can do is protect and fan that fire, even when the pressures of living bends the body too far.”
She affirms: “‘Awards’ is a fight song, the chorus a battle cry to keep on keepin’ on. With a little help from my friends, I ain’t done yet.” In a moment of weakness, Porlolo looked within herself and found the strength to soldier on. We can find that same strength in ourselves as well – and it’s music like this that will help us find it.
Stream “Awards” exclusively on Atwood Magazine. Porlolo’s new EP is out this Friday, 4/27/2018!
— — — —
📸 © Jamie Gershen