Home Song Reviews Braden Lam Blends The Bitter And The Sweet With “Driftwood People”

Braden Lam Blends The Bitter And The Sweet With “Driftwood People”

by Vivian O'Grady

Folk-pop singer/songwriter Braden Lam blends both the inspiring and disconnected side of travel in his song, “Driftwood People.”

The track begins with a calming guitar riff, breaking into a light yet cheerful beat. The message of this song is so lovely, stirring the wanderlust buried within all of us. This song can give you hope, inspiration, and transform your perspective of human relationships. The image of driftwood people resonates in my imagination, inspiring me both in life and in a creative fashion.

We’re driftwood people
Never growing roots

There’s a certain fascination we have for travelling and life on the road. Musicians certainly embody that spirit of living on the road when they’re touring, but there have been countless examples of everyday people breaking free from their ordinary life to experience a different paradigm of existence. Individuals travel in RVs, backpack across Europe, or even hitchhike across America, Jack Kerouac-style. This allure of not settling down is offered in a fresh way in “Driftwood People.”

Cut all our ties
And dream of
Someplace nice
Where we wanna be

The optimistic message in this song is like a breath of fresh air. I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but this is the kind of song that opens your heart and frees your mind. From my interpretation of the song, I gathered Braden Lam wished to create a song that celebrates getting to know one another and being open to new perspectives you encounter in life. Living such an open-minded life on the road seems like an exciting yet challenging way to be, as Lam offers his perspectives in this song.

Never the first but we won’t be the last
Makes you wonder what’s left to discover

I know I’ve written about how much I love harmonicas in a previous article, but I can’t stress how much I adore those harmonica vibes. On this track, the harmonica accentuates the folk style in such a way that the upbeat pop feels don’t overpower the song. When I first heard the harmonica in “Driftwood People,” a memory wafted into my mind: a few years ago, I was kayaking down the Suwanee River, and suddenly, we heard the distinctive strains of a harmonica from shore. A guy was playing the harmonica on the cliff above, letting the positive sounds he was playing drift to the river below. It’s amazing how music can inspire your imagination; kayaking along that river, I instantly felt like I was transported to a distant time, perhaps rowing a makeshift raft with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The distinctive sound of the harmonica always brings about some sort of inspiration within my imagination, just as it does with Braden Lam’s “Driftwood People.”

This is the kind of song you listen to when you’re ready to feel good and be positive about the world. What makes Braden Lam’s song quite unique is the raw honesty present in his lyrics. His focus on relationships with those around him gives idealistic yet attainable truths that we should all aspire to. He sings of people being honest with each other, of opening up and learning from one another. It’s easy to be pessimistic about the human race, when all we hear about is destruction, fighting, wars, and deceit by the people in power. Yet, when you step back and take a moment to ponder the beauty of the banal, everyday existence, it’s possible to feel empowered to create change on an intimate level.

We’ve got a lot to learn from our past
So leave no stone unturned
Let’s get to know each other

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