Winter is the perfect metaphor for breakup: The cold, life-deprived season is an easy symbol for loss. When despair dwells within you and the end is all around, it’s only natural to identify with what you see and feel. On “Leaves Are Gone,” Louisville indie rock five-piece Frederick The Younger embrace winter’s desolation as they bemoan a good thing gone sour.
The color’s gone
The world is pale
The feelings wrong
The air is stale
The winter’s long
I’m frozen dear
I just want to move on
To places brighter than here
Listen: “Leaves Are Gone” – Frederick The Younger[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/304160148?secret_token=s-PUYIS” params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=true&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Leaves Are Gone,” the latest single off Frederick The Younger’s upcoming debut album Human Child (independently out February 3, 2017). Comprised of Aaron Craker, Jenni Cochran, Matt Kohorst, Dave Givan, and John Barrera, Frederick The Younger find a balance between the colorful melody-driven pop/rock of ’60s staples like The Zombies, and the bluesy grit of modern rock acts like DOROTHY. The band’s first two releases, “Horoscope” and “Tell Me,” are impassioned displays of their ability to embed energetic emotion into music without losing any gusto. The same can be said of “Leaves Are Gone,” though its marriage of rock and despair results in something a little different.
Melancholy and restlessness swim together as vocalist Jenni Cochran commits to and enforces the breakup:
The leaves are all gone now
The world is falling down
It is not the time
To love me
It is not the time
I’ve decided what I wanted
I’m falling down
I’ve decided what you gotten
We’re falling down
Cochran delivers her vocals calmly and a little coldly; it is not that she doesn’t care about the situation, so much as she does not care about her significant other anymore. It’s over, she effectively states, this is done. Her voice is tinged with lo-fi production, a technique that adds a fierce, ‘rock’-friendly texture to her rich palette.
The band hits a memorable high in the chorus, when the gritty verse meets with an incredibly catchy chorus. Flexing her lungs as she drives the point home, Cochran opens her arms and shouts into the blustery wind: “The winter’s long, I’m frozen dear. I just want to move on to places brighter than here.” Her conviction is compelling; she seems to welcome the winter reluctantly but purposefully, knowing that she must endure the darkness in order to feel the light once more.
Cochran indeed wrote “Leaves Are Gone” about going through a breakup in the winter. “[It was] definitely a low point for me,” remarks the singer; indeed, while Frederick The Younger’s other releases explore other types of melancholy, sadness and woe, “Leaves Are Gone” is the only one to come off with the resigned attitude of someone who has submitted herself to despair.
“My body is snowed inside,” we hear in the second verse. “I’m hovered by the light. This is how close I’ll come to living death.” Dark, vivid lyrics evoke Cochran’s utter helplessness, whilst the song’s chugging energy conveys a need to break free.
Do I delight in living on the cusp?
Always one gust of wind away from giving up
With their debut album Human Child out in only ten days, this tense and cold 2017 winter is Frederick The Younger’s time to shine. “Leaves Are Gone” is as unassumingly bereft of emotion as it is full of it, a duality that makes this song an ideal display of submission’s dark effects on the soul. Don’t miss Frederick The Younger: Their passionate and malleable take on rock is an oasis in today’s barren musical landscape. Look out for Human Child, out 2/3/2017!
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cover © Danielle Elise Bartley