An emphatic folk-punk ballad, Some Professional Help’s “In My Place” is a worthwhile lesson in clear communication, a basic trait we could all improve.
Some songs just lay everything out all at once, making it easy for us to see, hear, and immediately understand what’s going on – a clarity we seldom get to experience in life. One of the reasons things get harder as we get older stems from a seemingly adult tendency to value courtesy over self-expression. In trying to be “respectful” of one another, we fail to share what we really feel – thereby hindering growth, and actually hurting ourselves in the process.
That said, there’s nothing better than a band called Some Professional Help delivering a song with, well, some professional help. An emphatic folk-punk ballad, “In My Place” is a worthwhile lesson in clear communication, a basic trait we could all improve.
I’ve taken time for talking to you
And I’ve taken the time for listening too
And no one’s taking score
But if they did I know that I’d take more
Give me one moment, I’ll give you my take
But if I give too much, please don’t make me wait
For you to put me in my place
Listen: “In My Place” – Some Professional Help
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “In My Place,” the latest single off Some Professional Help’s eponymous debut EP (out May 17, 2018 via Yomyamyeemyaz Productions). Self-described as an indie-folk/orchestral pop collective led by singer/songwriter Scott Alexander, San Francisco’s Some Professional Help consists of a rotating cast of some sixteen musicians. Just like their lineup, the band’s music is never the same thing twice – each song is a unique entity unto itself, glowing with a range of emotions and musical influences that make Some Professional Help hard to nail down, even if it’s just for a moment.
At the same time, Some Professional Help’s music is quite unlike their lineup in that it’s an intimate affair, as is exemplified on “In My Place.” A highly personal “folk punk,” alternative rock song reminiscent of REM, Dizzy-era Goo Goo Dolls and Weezer, Some Professional Help’s latest release glows with dramatic gusto. Bashful acoustic and electric guitars come together in a glorious fury as Scott Alexander sings eloquently, his words hitting home as he calls out people for, in some a sense, not calling him out:
I don’t want to argue to be petty
Or bicker to be contrary
I just thought I’d tell you how
that I love the way we disagree
Advice you did not ask for
is the only kind you need
I’m so glad I can count
on you to be a jerk to me
And I love the way we disagree
“I grew up in a family with a lot of fighting, as did most of my friends,” Scott Alexander tells Atwood Magazine. “So we were never shy with our feelings or ideas around each other. I suspect it’s also just a feature of being young that I really miss, as I’ve written about this before.”
He continues, “I have found that, contrary to what I was led to expect, being an adult has made me more uncomfortable in my relationships, both social and artistic, as people seem to call me out less and less on my (always unintentional and well-meaning) bullshit. I of course strive to be a more empathetic and diplomatic person, but the abyss of give-and-take antagonism makes me incredibly uncomfortable and self conscious. In fact, the whole experience of Some Professional Help has really put this in to hyperdrive. Some of these fine musicians are obviously comfortable telling me if they want to change something, but some remain very hard for me to read. We’re working on it.”
The foundation of our bond is not conflict
In fact, it is quite rare
But if I can’t tell when it’s there
Then I’ll freeze just like a statue
that’s forgotten and defaced
And I’ll crumble into ruins
if you don’t put me in my place
“In My Place” captures a universal need for open and clear communication – the fluid transmission not only of ideas, but also of emotions. The world would be a whole lot better off if we just told each other when we did and didn’t like our respective comments and behaviors – and that, in a nutshell, is the ultimate crux of “In My Place.”
Stream Some Professional Help’s latest release exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from the band: Their debut EP is out May 17, 2018!
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