If you’re a music lover of today, you must be a music lover of tomorrow.
It’s one of the rules I established as an avid music consumer. In order to respect, understand, and truly admire the music of 2018, you should know what came before – what gave way and inspiration to the current popular artists. Whether it’s the 2000s or the 1950s, there are some amazing oldies that are iconic to this day and still hold up as enjoyable.
One of my favorite decades, personally, is the 80s. There is no way you can listen to an 80s pop or rock song and not want to sing along or jam out. One of the staples of the 80s was synthesizer, and the synth-pop genre. Synth-pop truly started earlier, but it found its stride and ultimately rose to major popularity in the 80s. It feels like the synth was made for 80s music specifically. It’s an unmistakable sound that shaped the music of an entire decade. When I say 80s synth pop, you think “Take on Me” by A-ha, “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, “Blue Monday” by New Order.
NAMO, though labeled as an indie-pop band, can be considered a collaborative project in the case of “Forever”. NAMO began simply because a musician named Asher Peterson wanted to collaborate with his fellow artistic friends to make an EP. While most of the lyrics are written by his collaborators, he enjoys producing the music and honing in on a certain sound for the songs.
In this case, the collaborator was JOCKS. JOCKS is a pop, once folk/bluegrass band based in Nashville. NAMO says their music incorporates “layered vocals, live and programmed percussion, textured guitars/pianos, organic/experimental sounds” and most importantly… synth. So what exactly did this sweet collaboration accomplish with the song “Forever”? Something fun, that’s for sure.
The song begins with, you guessed it… synthesizer. Who would have thought after I mentioned it twice! It’s a dynamic pop intro; slow percussion build until the beat finally snaps, transforming the song into something more modern and radio friendly. Lucky for us, that 80s influence in the melody is still very present. It feels like the epic-ness continues to grow. That electronic piano shines through and gives the song a certain glimmer. At times the vocal melody echoes and aids to this glimmer. It makes it more dream-like. This song feels like an 80s summer romance in musical form. It’s hard not to be happy when listening to it.
Want me to stay? Want me to leave?
I know it’s late…
It’s okay, believe me,
baby, I can make it alright.
This man is dealing with an indecisive lover, but he wants to assure them that he can soothe their fears and worries.
I know you’re tired, know your days are long,
working over time trying to survive on your own.
You gotta fight but you’re not alone, you know…
you can trust me, I won’t let you go.
It’s clear that his lover’s life is complicated. They are strong and independent, but it doesn’t make things any easier. He wants her to know she now has someone to help her and be by her side. He wants them to become a team.
Ain’t no need to be afraid love.
I ain’t ever gonna break your heart,
you best believe. Don’t have no fear, no.
His lover’s hardships may extend to past relationships. They may have been hurt before, may have been deceived or betrayed and they carry that with them to their new relationships. He wants to assure them that he will not be the next break up.
It gets bad, it gets real,
something’s cracked and may never heal,
but don’t hold back – we gotta deal
with it all.
Life won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. We will be unhappy and we will carry around scars. But it doesn’t help to continue living in the past. He wants them to look forward and work through it.
I know it’s hard.
Your own friends and your family,
My independence and my total lack of empathy,
it ain’t perfect but, girl, you know it’s worth it.
We can work it out, we can work it out.
Baby don’t you worry now.
There are many obstacles in their way. The people closest to them doubt their relationship. He doesn’t know how to not be alone, and he struggles to understand others’ emotions. Even though all of these things are working against them, he wants to fight for it because he believes this is something great.
Oh baby, my mind’s made up.
Nothing’s ever gonna tear us apart.
You best believe
when I said forever, I meant forever.
He is dead set on his lover and convinced they will be always be together. Because when he makes a goal, a promise, he intends to keep it.