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“To Bleed” by Myers Rooney: Reviving the Sound of Decades Past

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There is no shortage of music taking inspiration from the past nowadays. However, while many people can aim to create songs which sound vintage and from another era, not many can do it well. By recreating a sound so specific, you sort of back yourself into a corner as far as creativity goes. That being said, it also opens many other doors once you can lock the sound down and focus purely on the expressive part of songwriting. By using lo-fi sounding recording techniques, as well as a simplistic instrumentation in the background, Myers Rooney has creatively produced a song which sounds as though it was taken from the past and plopped into the present with “To Bleed.”

Sounding like it was picked up straight out of the mid-1960’s garage/psychedelic genre, the song begins the second you press play. Without any messing about, Myers Rooney begins singing over multiple layers of instruments, all sounding lo-fi and contributing to the song’s overall mood. While an acoustic guitar quietly strums out chords and picks out patterns which to me seem reminiscent of “Weird Fishes / Arpeggi” by the band Radiohead, a slightly distorted electric guitar emphasizes certain chords which push everything forward. Beneath all of that, yet somehow still sounding in front, the drums seem to stand out the most with the natural tinniness of the ride cymbal which is steadily carrying the beat.

The vocal melody of the song follows a similar pattern to many other lo-fi/psychedelic songs that I have heard. By singing in a lower register and drawing out the notes of his words, Rooney creates a sort of drone with his voice which meshes well with the instruments. The style of singing reminds me of something by The Beatles in the mid-1960’s. That being said, there are many times when I found that the vocals might mesh a little too well with the instruments, causing the lyrical content to be difficult to understand. The one phrase which stood out to me clearly and seemed to carry significant wait was, “All that is known to bleed.” It is seemingly used as a stopping point to the various points being made throughout the song. After a section is sung, it is ended with that line.

At the end of the day, there are many things that go into making a song. These things are entirely separate from what makes a song good or bad, as well as what makes a song get stuck in your head. Despite me having a hard time following and understanding the lyrical content of the song, I found myself humming the melody after only my first listen. To me, that is a sign of success by any count. On top of that, by keeping the song short and to the point, it has no opportunity to overstay its welcome. By starting immediately, without much of an intro, the song offers a wealth of content in its short two minutes runtime. I am interested to see where Myers Rooney takes this sound going forward, as it seems to me to be an authentic recreation of the sound which graced a decade from long ago, one which I still enjoy to this day.

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