Premiere: Deflating Egos with Arts Fishing Club’s Wily “Icarus”

Arts Fishing Club © Alex Justice
Arts Fishing Club deflate ego and arrogance with a fun folk-rock swagger in their new song “Icarus,” a soaring feelgood jam encouraging everyone to come together, rather than drift apart.

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It happens to all of us, from time to time: We lose sight of ourselves, and grow something of an ego – only to be put back in our place, by friends and family if we’re lucky. Being human means being flawed, and one of our worst flaws is hubris and arrogance – the flaunting of “betterness” as some sort of stratifying factor. You’re not better than anyone else, but yes, you are different. Everyone is different, and everyone is special – so just suck it up, and live in harmony with the world, making the most of your talents and helping others make the most of theirs.

Arts Fishing Club deflate ego and arrogance with a fun folk-rock swagger in their new song “Icarus,” a soaring feelgood jam encouraging everyone to come together, rather than drift apart.

Hey Mister Icarus
Aren’t you so sick of this
Growing up just like someone else
But you’re something special
Gotta teach the world your lesson
Go write your name upon the shelf
Listen: “Icarus” – Arts Fishing Club

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Icarus,” the lead single off Arts Fishing Club’s forthcoming debut album Human – to be released in two parts over the next year, starting with Human Part 1 in late October. Arts Fishing Club is the creative force of Wisconsin-bred Christopher Kessenich – who completed an historic 1600 mile tour on foot alongside fellow musician Riley Moore – an artist we wrote about earlier this year. Based in Nashville and comprised of Kessenich alongside Matthew Siffert (Bass), Peter Eddins (Keys/Sax), and Jimi Greene (Lead Guitar),  Arts Fishing Club is part folk, part rock, part country, and all energy – an identity best evoked in “Icarus” itself.

Icarus - Arts Fishing Club

Icarus – Arts Fishing Club

Hey Mr. Icarus
Whatchya gonna make of this
Little wax candle light
(you got) I – Dee – Uhs
Five good reasons
To put us all out of sight
The sun is shining
It’s summertime
The stars are aligning
And I feel like flying

“Icarus is a manic party jam soaked in satire,” Chris Kessenich tells Atwood Magazine. “It pokes fun at a character who has gotten a larger-than-life sized head hanging out with his larger-than-life “friends.” He thinks that he is special and that his name deserves to be preserved “up on the shelf” next to all the works of the world’s great influencers. He’s drowning in ego.”

He continues, “The chorus is all positive, exposing that this character is feeling good and has no real worries in the world; he can do whatever he pleases (like flying too close to the sun). The second verse is a little more revealing, calling the character out – “Hey now Narcissus… looks like you’re playing pocket-pool.” There is no real resolution as to whether the character has found humility; just a manic harmonica solo that may or may not indicate a tragic fall from the soaring heights.”

Hey now Narcissus
Who’s you been kissing
Looks like you’re playing pocket pool
Ain’t it funny
The way you throw around that money
You’re so goddamn cool (smooth)

“Icarus” is the sort of check-yourself-at-the-door dose of humility and reality we could all benefit from: Rich and poor, young and old, people of all colors and creeds: We’re not all that different from one another, yet we keep ourselves divided by countless barriers, convincing ourselves that in order for one group to be special, another group must not be special. Why can’t we all be beautiful? Why can’t we all be important and powerful, independent yet together?

Arts Fishing Club © Alex Justice

Arts Fishing Club © Alex Justice

The Greek tragic fable of Icarus centers around a man with wax wings, who believed himself so great and special that he flew too close to the sun, melting his wings in a fit of arrogance and ignorance that resulted in his own demise. In addition to embracing the karmic element, which so many Icarus references tend to focus on, Arts Fishing Club’s “Icarus” takes shots at ego itself. Tongue-in-cheek and both wily and fun, “Icarus” is calls for all to stand together, rather than apart; for us to lift each other up as a whole, rather than strive to distinguish ourselves at everyone else’s expense.

A fun end-of-summer anthem keeping the heat alive for just a little while longer, “Icarus” is a fine introduction to Arts Fishing Club – who, themselves, are ready to bring their music, their story, and their ethos well beyond Nashville’s stages.  “Both of my grandfathers are named Arthur,” Kessenich shares. “They instilled in me the mentality that fishing is about going out every day with the intention for success. With every single line you cast, you’re trying, you’re going out there with purpose and intention. But, you’re going to constantly come up empty-handed and at the end of the day, if you go home and nobody caught anything, that’s not a wasted day, because fishing is about being out there, the adventure of it, and being in the boat with people that you love. The name of my band, which is also a play on words referencing music being the art in focus, reminds me that it’s not about catching a big fish. It’s not about having a hit song; it’s about going out and doing it with people that you love.”

It’s not about having a hit song; it’s about going out and doing it with people that you love.

Arts Fishing Club are doing what they love, and we’re all invited to join their party. Stream “Icarus” exclusively on Atwood Magazine; the first half of the band’s debut album, Human Part 1, is out October 19, 2018!

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Icarus - Arts Fishing Club

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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