Once in awhile, a song comes along that is so unique it becomes entrenched in the collective zeitgeist and transcends the age that spawned it.
Almost a decade on from it’s release, AWOLNATION’s Sail has been certified six times platinum and has been used to sell anything from cellphones to active wear. The song itself has become a meme - a mantra; emblematic, rebellious, and undeniable. Sail should have cast a long shadow any artist would have found challenging to outrun, especially for a first album release. But the title-track from Aaron Bruno’s next album Run also reached viral meme status (10 hour Youtube compilation videos abound). It would be easy for these heavily referenced hooks to overshadow the larger artistic merit of the music - after all, landing back on earth after being shot into the memedom stratosphere is no easy task.
Listening to AWOLNATION has always felt like plugging into a specific state of mind, one that isn’t too concerned about your opinion. It’s this attitude that makes the solo project so tempting to duplicate, but unlikely to imitate. AWOLNATION has always been an aggressively eclectic and cunningly crafted explosion of musical influences. With vocals that vary from death metal screams to cheery sing-song, and instrumentals that twinkle with synths only to crash into a stampede of guitars licks, Bruno basks in the unexpected. New release The Best is an alt-rock spook show. The video follows a young costumed misfit haunting a party before meeting an edible dealing shaman and setting off on a magical journey. I guess lightening does strike the same spot more than once.
Hear The Best before it becomes a meme near you.