Fear is something everyone faces in their lifetime. It’s pervasive and can sweep through even the most strong-hearted of people, stealing their courage and guarding them. When life comes swinging at you like that and it feels as if you just can’t find your footing on solid ground, that’s where Rebekah Fitch’s “Afraid of the Light” comes in.
See the light that falls before me
We don’t want to see what the truth could be
So we say draw the curtains when the morning comes
We don’t want the Sun to come and stop the fun…
Listen: “Afraid of the Light” – Rebekah Fitch
Belfast’s Rebekah Fitch kicks up her heels and pumps out her chest, bringing a brassy jazzy flavor to her third and latest single, independently released 11/11/2016. “Afraid of the Light” is an anthemic song about empowerment and not letting yourself become sheltered. She wants to remind us not to let the darkness swallow us up, sweeping away life and joy with it.
The song starts off as a swirling, churning ode to unanswered questions. There is tension in the melody; a rift between anthemic boldness and brooding. The piano and guitar blend together, bringing out Fitch’s unwavering and passionate vocals that recall a ZZ Ward feel. She refuses to allow fear get in her way. The thumping jazzy beat is glittering with promise as Fitch sings:
Oh don’t come into the light and it will be alright
No exhibition of what we want to hide
And we are people of the night
Don’t think about what’s right
Just close your eyes and choose your own reality
Oh no, don’t be afraid
Living can change
We’ll be made perfect once again
I said open your eyes
And look to the skies
And see how much you’re worth
The “darkness” is synonymous for the unknown. It’s the place you run away to, where no one can get close enough to pull you back. Fitch’s powerful vocals pierce through the listener, waking them up and drawing them in. “Afraid of the Light” is a prompt, stating there is value in doing things that scare you.
Look to the skies and see how much you’re worth.
The song also addresses the topic of not being able to raise someone’s self-esteem. With no rose-coloured glasses, Fitch is dignified and outspoken. Her arms are wide open and her palms are outstretched as she pulls the listener up and steadies them. As life pushes against them, she fights back in song, exclaiming there is no place for self-deprecation.
There are also tidbits of crushed romantic notions with the line, “We’ll be made perfect once again.” Ryan O’Connell once wrote: “I don’t believe in love at first sight but I do believe in seeing someone from across the room and knowing instantly that they’re going to matter to you.”
Fitch poses the question, how can you see clearly what fate has in store if you’re trapped in your own head, frozen in time? You should always tell the people who matter to you how special they are.
You know it could’ve been
You know it could’ve been greater than you ever imagined
You know that you could be
The light for all to see
Please don’t let your fear stop you from singing
Fitch does not settle for a half-hearted effort on the song. There is no linear way of explaining how all the jazzy and soulful elements intertwine, but they mesh together in a flavorful, symbiotic manner. There are points when the music wavers, threatening to drown in a sea of instruments, but the recovery is brisk.
“Afraid of the Light” is more than respectable as part this fresh, up-and-coming artist’s debut effort, sending out a glimmer of hope into the world. Fitch focuses her uplifting song on those around her, an indicator of emotive and conscious songwriting that isn’t seen frequently enough. With talent well beyond her years, the Belfast-born, Durham-based artist has just begun to make a name for herself, and that name comes with considerable admiration. One can appreciate “Afraid of the Light” not just for the vocals or the catchy chorus, but for the message Rebekah Fitch broadcasts to everyone who has been afraid to find themselves.
cover photo: Rebekah Fitch © 2016
Watch: “Afraid of the Light” – Rebekah Fitch