By Oliver Shasha
It’s you, it’s Neil Young next to you, on a remote farm, serenading you with classic after classic, and the sun is setting with a little more flamboyancy, partly because you’re on your forth beer and second joint, but also because that’s what the sun does in the mid 70s. Amongst the gibberish exchanged the two of you plan for a greater future, under the guise of equality and enlightenment.
You’re alarm goes off. Beep. It’s 2019. Fair enough you’ve got Justin Trudeau to stare at all day, but a few miles south there’s an orange dickhead presiding over quite a lot more than orange dickheads are usually allocated to preside over. This is not the world that Neil Young would have wanted for us, but it’s all there is so why give up the fight just yet. There is maybe a glimmer of hope, a faint beacon of light. A glimpse of the past, radiated in the music of the new.
Welding some serious responsibility upon himself, Canadian singer-songwriter Cole Shway is up to the task of instilling these distant values of Young’s into a fragmented and on-the-whole pretty disappointing world. New single ‘On and On’ dramatically channels this uphill battle. Cole Shway is; with the rest of us entwined in a widespread desire to underline the principles of morality, and of humility in this questionable modern era. ‘On and On’ opens with an atmospheric bass riff, the moodiness of the performance and tonality then manifests itself into the driving force of a bleak musical journey. Assertive lyrical phrasing constructs an enclosure around the listener, the lyrics and the music interlocking to create senses of entrapment and isolation. Around two minutes in we are confronted with a change, as the energetic lead guitar line escorts us out of our cell, the accompanying adrenaline is a freeing experience. This self proclaimed “experimental folk” singer then closes the gates as we’re hurled back into the darkness of the second verse. Fortunately we’re not left too long in this all too familiar territory, and the second chorus washes in like a sigh of relief. But the drums soon drop out. Left alone, we’re forced to reflect and ponder as to whether we’ve been harmoniously blessed or deceptively cursed by Shway. A visceral journey that will more than steal the spotlight from his earlier material, ‘On and On’ throughout borrows a certain vibrancy from Canadian folk legend Young, the bluesy rock backdrop of bass and drums, transposed with blissful harmonies that give the music a sort of sentience, alive and always on the verge of change.
The word around the campfire is that Shway is set to release an full length EP in the near future, and only time will tell whether or not it will possess more of these shades of the vintage era. Nevertheless, i’d definitely keep an eye out.
Listen to ‘On and On’ here:
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