I don’t know about you, but I turn to art — music, literature, poetry — when I need to escape and my need for escapism is strong at the moment.
If there was ever a song that addresses what’s happening now — nearly 200,000 deaths as a result of the global pandemic and its subsequent destruction of the world economy — it’s a new tune by one of my favorite bands, Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia-based Annabelle’s Curse, staples at the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, frequent performers at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival and a runner-up at FloydFest’s On the Rise Competition, just to name a few.
The band is releasing “Bailout” today. In their words, the song has multiple meanings: “It addresses the isolation, division and distraction of the current era through a metaphor of a sinking ship and a struggling relationship. It also has political statements laced throughout the final verses.”
The crazy thing about “Bailout” is that it was written long before any of us had heard of COVID-19, coronavirus, “social distancing” or the “new normal” — two phrases I personally hope will soon disappear from our collective vocabularies.
I talked to Zack Edwards, one of the band’s co-founders, earlier this week and he said at the heart of this complex song, written by another band co-founder Tim Kilbourne, is the double entendre of “dealing with political bailouts as well as dealing with relationships and maintaining them despite going through troubles. We were talking about how weird it is that everyone is getting stimulus checks when the song is being released.”
Today’s release is the second from the band’s fifth full-length album in the past decade. I’m going to write a review of the entire album, “Vast Oceans,” before its full release on May 22 and much more about what the band is going through (a microcosm if you will of the current state of the music industry), but in this post I am going to focus solely on “Bail Out.”
Check out these prescient lyrics:
And senseless inaction
I don’t know which is worse
The winter or the curse…
Both are ether spreading on the earth.
“We’ve taken on some water but there’s time to bail it out
I feel the sense of urgency to take the swiftest route
Let’s get back to solid ground
Safe and sound.
“We’re a predatory culture living in our bubbles
We detract from one another at the first sign of trouble
The people in charge act like greedy children
And the kids are no longer safe behind the walls of their religion
Excuse me, did I say too much?
People quit speaking the truth and such…long ago
We hide behind our screens, our windowsills
If you don’t stand up now, who will?
There’s a line in the dirt.
We could do better. How could we do worse?”
Would love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, stay safe and stay tuned for the next release from Annabelle’s Curse right here on May 8.