Truth is hard to hear. It's even harder to follow. This is a haunting narrative of how present-day excesses have drowned our uniqueness, and how magnifying the "many" has allowed the process to swallow the individual.
That's the basic premise of Romantica's Harder to Hear from the newly released album (and years-long awaited), Shadowlands. Always afraid of what's lurking in the dark, humans have managed to create a web of interconnectivity that now brings all those unimaginable voices and faces into view. Little did we realize that monsters don't shrink in the spotlight. In fact, they dwell in it.
Harder to Hear targets not any particular group of individuals or even philosophies. Rather, it describes a weariness of the overwhelming effect institutions have on everything we think, everything we do, and, ultimately, everything we are. It is hard to imagine a song that strikes as accurate a cultural chord since Lennon's Imagine.
Set simply and delicately, frontman Ben Kyle imparts a soulful yearning that all but the wicked will find undeniably relatable. Simultaneously, the lyrics distill the essence of today's overindulged world of superfluousness, each mantra-like stanza pairing both the essential-ideal with reality-in-practice. To summarize, we are–as perhaps both Imagineand Harder to Hear though generations apart observe–our biggest obstacle to global and individual peace. Rarely do songs say so much so effortlessly.
The irony, perhaps, is that the song both bears and bares too much inconvenient truth. It will likely be lambasted and trolled. For nothing is as endangered today as a person not addicted to opinion, whether others' or his/her own. We live in times when it is cool to be cruel, which makes the refrain even more poignant and a prime target. It also endorses the old adage, "better to be happy than to be right." Leaders today might tweet in response, "#wrong #sad"
Of course, neither the song nor the message might hardly be heard at all. That's what happens frequently to prophets in an algorithmic wilderness, where searchers find everything "best," but very seldom anything good at all.
"It's much harder to hear my heart these days, much harder to hear my heart. There's so much culture in the way, so much culture..."
Ben Kyle - vocals, guitar, piano
Luke Jacobs - guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocals
Tony Zaccardi - bass, vocals
Ryan Lovan - drums
"Danger" Dave Strahan - guitar
Jayanthi Kyle - vocals
Joe Savage - pedal steel guitar
Aaron Fabbrini - pedal steel guitar
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