Against The Current have released their second album called "Past Lives" on 28th September. The album is full of great stories that will keep your sorrows away. By the way, Against The Current (aka ATC) is an American pop rock band based in Poughkeepsie, New York which was formed in 2011. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Chrissy Costanza (who was born in New Jersey), Dan Gow (guitarist), and Will Ferri (drummer). ATC's previous album "In Our Bones" (2016) was their debut album, and they made it to the Billboard 200 (@181) and #2 for the US Heatseekers Album (Billboard). In Our Bones charted at number 181 on the US Billboard 200 chart, at number 15 on the US Top Alternative Albums, and at number 20 on the US Top Rock Albums. So, congratulations to them for making it to the top nationally and internationally.
I love to listen to their songs because we are part of the same generation, so I naturally feel connected to them. They are probably going through similar situations. I was excited about the "Past Lives" album, and I want to tell you that you don't want to miss any songs from this album. "Past Lives" feels like a natural movement from "In Our Bones" not merely elaborately, but rather in stories. Each song inspires a different state of mind and keeps you guessing. Listening to this record feels like I am reading their personal diary from the past two years where a lot of things have happened. Overall, the album has upbeat music with compelling, emotive themes including anger, love, death, and loss. It takes you on a voyage and renders a soundtrack to any mood.
1. "Strangers Again"
The intro melodies of this song give the feeling of a new beginning. The feeling you get when you actually wake up again and realize that 1) you didn't want to do what you did or 2) you shouldn't have done it but you did, so let's forget about it and move on. The feeling of being lost and not knowing how to figure out where to start now can probably be a relatable topic to many people our age. If I have to take something out of this song, I would say that realizing what you have done and accepting your mistakes can help you to forgive yourself. Don't hold onto it or regret. The minor melodic sound played on the guitar, and the low hazy tones flawlessly fit the theme of this song. The pain in Costanza's voice prompts at either a separation between herself and the rest of the world or her close friend as it can be seen in the video of this song.
2. "The Fuss"
Overall, this song has laid-back music with the same tone throughout the song which makes it unique in the album. I think this song is about showing frustration from some unnecessary interest of someone and you can't make sense out of what's going on around him/her. Besides, it shows that it's not easy to make assumptions based on what you know. The feeling of not being on the same page can be seen in this song. Personally speaking, if the purpose of this song was to show anger and frustration, they could have added more powerful chords and a wave of anger in Chrissy's voice. On the other hand, maybe "everybody" in this song refers to someone Chrissy knows personally so she can't be angry as she wants to be.
3. "I Like The Way"
"I Like The Way" is one of my favorite song in this album because it has positive vibes, a hope, and fabulous lead melodies which ATC is known for. So, this song is about expressing your feelings to someone and telling them how much you like them for whatever reasons. More often, people might feel overwhelmed or get confused about things that are happening around them if they try to make everything perfect by planning in advance. Sometimes it's better to live in the moment and care about things that you really like to do instead of worrying about the future. Overall, marvelous vibes! Songs like this one make me so happy, and I play them on repeat :)
"Personal" is an intrinsic, guileful way of grieving the loss of somebody who was exceptionally cherished. Chrissy's friend Julius passed away a year and a half ago. Chrissy said in the interview that, "when someone passes away that it isn't just darkness you feel. It's a rollercoaster." The music feels like it comes in blasts, the way the blasts of agony and pain can come. It resembles a blade that continues coming and hitting you once more. Also, this song is an illustrative style of arrangement works so well with the topic of this melody and the choice of words like "I scream at your ghost when I miss you the most... I'll lace up my armor and fight for us both..."
The rhythm and melody of this song are moving but the dark tone has a crisp sound of bass and electric guitar vibes. For instance, voices which speak to the darkness and inner voices. The music sounds wicked like the sound is the encapsulation of the voices in Chrissy's mind disclosing to her that she isn't enough. This isn't unprecedented for the individuals who have issues with confidence or a troubled mind caused by some event that happened in their life. Sometimes it's hard to get rid of those negative voices in your head because you get attached to it. It's difficult to isolate from the voices "causing inconvenience," and an individual is trying so hard to escape.
I think "Scream" is the next chapter of the story built in the "Voices." I like the way they chose these two songs to be in this particular order and to add the echo in her voice to show her anger. The lyrics "but the bad's got me in agony, just let me be" are interesting because they show the repetition of her being hard on herself, which is crucial to notice.
7. "Almost Forgot"
Beautiful guitar strumming melody with special vocal effects are the soul of this song. When it comes to heart, the unconsciousness always wins over the consciousness, which often makes people confused about their feelings. No matter how hard you try, the heart wants what it wants, just as the lyrics say, "you're still affectin' my mood..." Also, this track has been put together so well. Almost perfect.
I love this song because it has a great message that everyone should carry out with them after listening to this song. Instead of judging women based on their appearances, people should mind their own business. The definition of "beautiful" as defined by society is narrow-minded. The fact that women are sold products to supposedly make them more beautiful is an insensitive norm. "You just got to be who you are, that's all you can be." Also, "if love is blind, why do we get to be pretty all the time?" were exceptional lyrics among what I have heard in this album!
9. "Friendly Reminder"
Often, people are too hard on themselves, which is not great for them in the long run, so this song is a reminder to set a friendly reminder for yourself. I know it's easier said than done but you have to take care of yourself. A reminder would be a remember to smile, to remember the pain only last for a while, "throw the last year in the past" and move on. It can't be more straightforward than that!
10. "Come Alive"
The atmosphere and emotion carried in words shown beside catchy instrumental sounds make you want to dance. The music cushions the sad story in the music and reminds one to let loose, and not take things so seriously. Also, the song enables you to vent about your disappointments.
11. "Sweet Surrender"
All the other songs talk about everything you're too scared to say out loud. When the fresh excitement of closing track "Sweet Surrender" hits you'll get chills. It gives hope, and a feeling of everything will be alright. One of my favorite lyrics are "you got me in a free fall, you're my sweet surrender" and "I take off my armor when you love me harder, I'm alright, I'm alright now."
All in all, each song in this record has a story and altogether become one story. Once you share your story with someone, it always feels like tons of weight being pushed off the shoulder. ATC might feel it, too. I'm glad that they decided to share their stories with their fans. All the songs flow together in a cohesive style yet emerge from each other, so every track keeps you snared, needing to hear what comes next. As always it's a pleasure to listen to music from ATC because they are so talented. I would definitely recommend to check out this album and share with your friends! See you next week!