Buck Meek brings out his Texan origins in his latest single, “Candle.” There’s something magically old-fashioned in the combination of a twangy guitar and a simple but classic drumbeat that you can casually sway to as you fantasize being in an old west saloon. It’s like a John Wayne Hollywood western come to life.
Having begun with blues, jazz, and swing in bars and dance halls back in Wimberley, TX, it’s no surprise that Meek would continue his blues vibe further into his music career. In “Candle,” it’s edgy but soft, a gentle reminiscence of old times and rural bliss. A front-and-center distorted guitar with a country twang heads the song and mixes superbly with Meek’s twangy vocals. He captures the essence of good ol’ country tones, complete with an effortless head voice and a pungent southern accent. With touches of piano and fiddle, the song is rounded off with some equally talented harmonies, bringing together a production that fans of country blues would surge to.
The lyrics are a fascinating reflection of what Meek had to say about the song in a statement:
Meek: “I was making my escape, when the siren’s song caught me a mile up the road”
Lyrics: “The song of the sirens caught up with me downwind”
Meek: “My nose started bleeding by the second note, so I lit a candle to keep moving”
Lyrics: “My nose started bleeding by the second note”
Meek: “I may have died and woke in heaven’s motel, with a telephone seashell at the bedside”
Lyrics: “Heaven is a motel with a telephone seashell”
Is Meek reiterating what the song has to say, or is the song iterating what Meek was feeling? And what is he feeling?
When it’s too much to handle, burn me a candle
If you don’t have a candle, let me burn on your mind
It’s like the candle represents a kind of release, and comparing himself to a candle implies that the singer hopes to be some kind of release. As the chorus swells, the singer longs for an old lover, who maybe has already moved on (represented by their eyes changing colors, or so the singer supposes):
Well, did your eyes change? I remember them blue
Or were they always hazel?
Still the same face with a line or two
The same love I always knew
For an album that emerges as a “cathartic, naked confession of heartbreak, resiliency and enchantment” (according to Meek’s Spotify bio), “Candle” fits right in with the narrative, alongside the other two singles of the album, “Pareidolia” and “Second Sight,” each with its own fathomless representations of human vulnerability wrapped up in warm and homely country sounds.