A fun game I like to play is “What would this song sound like if it was by this other artist?” Sometimes the ideas come to you fully fleshed out, while other times they quickly fizzle and are forgotten. A quick search on YouTube can find many of these types of videos, where creative musicians try to emulate famous bands playing other band’s songs. While these sorts of games are fun, there is a legitimacy to the artform of taking inspiration from your favorite artists and transforming them into something of your own. If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like to hear The Killers, David Bowie and The Strokes create a track together, look no further than “A Man Behaves” by Sequentia Sequentia.
The song begins without hesitation, instantly sucking you into its cold metallic sound. With an industrial sounding synthesizer playing one note at a time, the direction of the song does not become immediately clear until Jared Dodd (composer of Sequentia Sequentia) begins singing in a style reminiscent of Brandon Flowers of The Killers. Accompanied by some lighter synthesizers in the background, he sings, “Let it all out / Make me a man / While you run away / I could not stay still.” From the first verse of the song, we see that the subject is going to revolve around a relationship falling apart from Dodd’s point of view. The song picks up with an upbeat drum groove as Dodd continues to describe this argument, “You said it was always in front of my face / I thought it would always be so plain to see.” While the other person in this relationship believes that their incompatibility was always obvious, Dodd is confused as he couldn’t see it and figured if this person was telling the truth, he would’ve sensed it too.
The song then allows its industrial sound to grow as a voice in the background repeats, “A man behaves.” Seemingly talking to himself now, Dodd sings, “Take it all in / Make shapes with the sand / Waves brushing your skin / And dragging you down.” Almost romanticizing his death, he can imagine playing with the sand on the beach as the waves take him in. Continuing, he sings, “You want to stay, but it’s time to go / I thought this was you letting me know.” Clearly in conflict with himself, he is starting to come around to the fact that what’s happened is his new reality. Confirming his acceptance, he sings, “I swear this hurts like before / But I fear it’s part of me now.” Entering a sort of hook with a new melody, Dodd reflects, “I fear it’s a long way back down town / It’s a longer drive back in the dark / I’m making my decision to escape.” Now on his own, he is realizing the darkness of loneliness. Going over his fears, he then asks, “Do all of men behave this way?”
During the bridge, an additional melody is introduced and sung in a style which reminds me heavily of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. With passion, Dodd sings, “I will take care of it, I release you / I will just bury this inside and keep it safe from fools like you.” Seemingly attempting to take control of the situation, he is letting the other person know that he will be okay. We enter the hook of the song again, which is repeated multiple times until the song fades out. With that, we can reflect on what a wonderful mashup of genres and artists this song appears to be. “A Man Behaves” by Sequentia Sequentia has brought something special to the table which will undoubtedly be noticed.