Premiere: Austin Max Debuts with a Tender Heartache in “As Leaders Fail to Lead”

Austin Max
A tender, aching outpouring, “As Leaders Fail to Lead” introduces singer/songwriter Austin Max with sweetly stunning forte.
Stream: “As Leaders Fail to Lead” – Austin Max

Austin Max’s debut single is a solemn, heartfelt encapsulation of what so many of us have been feeling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: Pain, suffering, strife, empathy, anger. And yet, when we listen to Max’s music, it’s not the rife, simmering-at-the-brim feelings that strike us; it’s the fragility of being and the beauty of life that resonate the deepest. A tender, aching outpouring, “As Leaders Fail to Lead” introduces singer/songwriter Austin Max with sweetly stunning forte.

As Leaders Fail to Lead - Austin Max
As Leaders Fail to Lead – Austin Max
Seconds fall lonely, as they stir into the brew
Minutes grow wiser, as I yearn for you
Hours burn deeper than that sycamore tree, we used to know
But it’s the days that get to me, more than I can show
When it’s over, I hope it’s really over

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “As Leaders Fail to Lead,” the debut single from multi-instrumentalist artist/writer/producer Austin Max. Hailing from Nashville and now based in Los Angeles, Max is a Berklee College of Music graduate with a glistening voice and an ear to match. His music is expressive and nuanced – a fervent blend of styles in the rock and folk canon that resonate with deep heart. “As Leaders Fail to Lead” makes us wonder what Led Zeppelin might have sounded like had they come from the American heartland; the song’s rollicking guitars and heavy melodies recall blips of the legendary band’s stunning acoustic work.

Austin Max
Austin Max

May the rain that taunts my spring wash away the bloated evil
And the skies that drained their bleeding, welcome all good people
Hope the heroes of the brave, find their way back home
Oh It’s the days that get to me, more than I can show
Whens it over? I hope it’s really over

Max prides himself on telling stories “of the human condition straight from the heart,” and he’s certainly done that twice-over on his first offering. “’As Leaders Fail to Lead poured out of me during Quarantine,” the artist tells Atwood Magazine. “It was undemanding, a result of witnessing unimaginable suffering and helpless frustration. I was sunken below a conscious level of disappointment, for the circus of leadership has failed to lead, save lives and unite the nation. I’ve always felt most connected to songs inspired by social change and injustice, and I hope this reaches a similar affect to those who need it most. Show up with intention this November.”

Cause I don’t find the pain to be justified while my sisters die
And I don’t ever wanna say goodbye to the sunshine again
I hope I find my heart to forgive
As leaders fail to lead

One need not read too deep into Max’s lyricism to feel his frustration with the Trump administration and their handling of the coronavirus. The United States could have been better prepared; so many loved ones would be alive today, had there been any action or preparation at the highest levels of government – but as this song says, our “leaders fail to lead.” We are still dealing with the aftershocks throughout the country; we are still suffering. The numbers continue to climb throughout the country, with seemingly little being done from local and state officials to curb the spread.

These are dark, scary times – and they are utterly exhausting. Austin Max captures all this and more, providing us with a vessel of relief and release as we continue to reckon with a global pandemic in the 21st century. Beautiful and emotionally resonant, “As Leaders Fail to Lead” is the song we didn’t know we needed to hear – soothing to the soul, it helps us communicate our own extreme emotions of sadness, anger, and pain out into the world. One can only hope that we get through this stronger, smarter, and alive.

Stream “As Leaders Fail to Lead” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Stream: “As Leaders Fail to Lead” – Austin Max

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As Leaders Fail to Lead - Austin Max

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