Winter is here, and that means people all around the world need something to keep themselves comfortable, warm and happy in the cold.
While others would look to things such as heated blankets or hot chocolate, I’m going straight for “Forever and a Day” by Straight White Teeth.
Straight White Teeth is the musical project of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Patrick McGuire. Growing up, he spent his childhood in Denver, Colorado which may explain where and how he found his love for country and folk music, with Denver being one of America’s hotspots for those two genres.
McGuire now lives in Kansas City and continues to make music there, as well as headline a few shows, such as his headline gig at Kansas City Museum last November. He has been uploading music to music streaming platforms for over a decade and has carved out his unique genre of what he describes as “lo-fi folk” music. And, to his credit, it is exactly what he delivers on “Forever and a Day.”
We are greeted with some intricately plucked acoustic guitar strings which sets the mood for the rest of the track. We then later get to hear McGuire’s voice, which is typically stripped back and low, much like the instrumental. It almost sounds like he is singing directly to the audience, due to how close he appears to be and how direct and warm he comes across. Lyrically, McGuire gives us a comfort blanket of love and reassurance as he sings lines such as:
“There’s nothing that can hold us in place”
“And when the others look for us, we’ll hide out and find another place”
Where the song really shines is when McGuire delivers a beautifully executed vocal harmony and incorporates a piano into the chorus. There’s low vocals in the left channel and high vocals in the right, making for a delicate and harmonious clash of voices. The added low notes of the piano also help build the track and give it a bit more body, which the song benefits greatly from as there are no drums to be heard in its two and a half minute runtime. I thought music with no drums died with Bon Iver’s third album, but Straight White Teeth has proved the record straight.
As the second verse and chorus are played out, the warm, comforting vibes continue to roll in right up until the final second. Straight White Teeth definitely has a niche carved out, and if this is just a taste of what’s to come later, I’m all in.
Overall, I had a wonderful time listening to “Forever and a Day” and will be looking out for more tracks by Straight White Teeth this winter to keep me cosy.