Recommended If You Like: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Animals
One listen to Los Angeles-based band Levitation Room and it’s hard not to acknowledge the ’60s psych pop influence, drawing ties most notably to The Beatles. But Levitation Room is much more than an air of influence; they ask deep, significant questions and challenge society with their flowing lyrics and flowery melodies.
Listen: “Strangers of Our Time” – Levitation Room
Levitation Room released their first full-length album, Ethos, in March of this year under the label Burger Records. Opening the album is the withering tune “Strangers of Our Time,” that is equal parts retrospective rage and an invitation for change.
“Someday soon this generation/Is going to have a revelation/They often have eternal patience/To sit around and feel complacent,” is the opening verse to “Strangers of Our Time,” and catches listeners off guard with its candidness. No matter the age of the listener, it makes one think, wait, am I truly happy with what I am doing? What have I been doing with my life? What revelation do I need?
The song forces people to think about the way they live their lives. And in pondering, Levitation Room aren’t really wrong, are they? Of course there are hard working people of this generation (Millennials), who fight for what they believe in, what they want to do and learn in life, and chase after their ambitions without gloating to everyone else. That is not the outlook much of the rest of society has. A common stereotype is that Millennials think highly of themselves, and therefore degrade others and don’t spend enough time actually reaching their full potential or contributing their worth to society.
“Sometime soon this generation/Is going to see its own reflection/And maybe find a new direction/They also have eternal patience.” The second verse offers hope and guidance for reform. It is like Narcissus who stared at his reflection until he eventually died—alright, maybe not that extreme. But if you are just looking at the beauty in yourself, you’re missing the beauty in others and in the world around you. The revelation Levitation Room call for is for people to take a second look at what matters most in life, and assess how one can make a change for the betterment of his or her own life and for society. “Strangers of Our Time” is a call to action; it is a cry for introspection. Stop always praising yourself and start being active, make changes, institute reform, make the time you have on this Earth worthwhile. Don’t live your life as a stranger to all the wonderful things this planet has to offer.
“Ahh ahh/Strangers of your time/Ahh ahh/Come to speak your minds,” is a welcoming sarcasm to get thoughts stirring and minds racing. So many are disconnected from others and the community, that they in fact become strangers to the ever-changing world. How can someone have a say in society if they don’t actively participate in it? Being swallowed up by the latest technology, beauty product or surgery, fashion fad, etc. is taking some further and further down the rabbit hole into a land of complacency and apathy for others.
With echoes and whispers and flourishing guitars, Levitation Room addresses this societal pitfall with its Alice-in-Wonderland ready, hallucinogenic vibes. The band’s clear influences from the Woodstock, summer of love era compliments the title “Strangers of Our Time.” This isn’t the type of music one would automatically expect to hear in 2016, let alone the 21st century. But it is refreshing and eye-opening like watching the rain fall, with cool tunes and ground-shaking lyrics. Levitation Room is in a way its own stranger of our time, but nonetheless, their music and their messages are welcomed and, even more so, needed.