It’s difficult to produce something universal. Whether or not you’re trying to attract an audience or just express some sensation, it’s hard to convey emotion to a widespread group. But, slower songs, acoustic music in particular, has always been able to strike a personal fancy. Passion just comes across better without the usual commotion.
Luckily, Justen Hamilton‘s single “Year One” is simple and appealing. It utilizes a single guitar, with a soothing melody, and some light percussion. It’s pretty constant through the track, with the occasional backup vocals. That backup, however, is a nice surprise. The use of a female singer enhances the song. It provides a nice combination and gives the song another artful level.
The ambiance provided is pleasant enough. It’s calm in nature and performance. It gives off the illusion of comfort. It reminds me of a rainy day moody. Not quite upset, just open to a range of feeling. You feel almost hopeful.
Hamilton challenges the listener, however, with the lyrics. The song’s theme appears to be about existence and the major issues associated with such a thing. The first two lines of the song hint at the subject matters involved. “I am now confined to words I spoke/not words I’ve yet to speak/or thoughts I’ve yet to think,” touches on the inability for growth. “And I am now defined by accolades and third-person praise/not character or faith,”allows for the introduction of the idea of social suffocation.
There’s even lines about questioning beliefs, “I was once inclined to believe that there was something we call fate/a grand design for every day/but I have been refined to know that there is only what we make/and save.”
Perhaps what I like most about this song is its ability to transcend so easily. The covering theme of self is solid, but distinctions within the song are what you really need to pay attention to.The topics covered are connected, but so diverse that every time there’s something different to experience. I enjoy songs with heart and this little treasure comes equipped with a big one. Hamilton is someone to keep your eye on.