Life isn’t Fair. And anyone that told you it is, was lying. You’ve heard the old refrain and enough of us have lived through an inequitable amount of challenges or triumphs to recognize that this is indeed, largely true. Yes. Both unjust cruelties and inherited benefits are bestowed on people from different social and economic upbringings, through mostly no fault of their own and not by their own choosing.
In the case of this debut single from Mellow Daze, “How Could This Be Fair”, we might also come to grips with the fact that death (with all its many possible causes and the randomness of disease) can also seem pretty unfair.
The song begins with some dreamy acoustic strumming, accompanied by a playfully melodic electric piano refrain and well placed supportive bass notes. This lush arrangement only grows, with the additions of subtle guitar pieces being strewn through the start of the first verse. And what a verse it is. It surprises. What might start for the listener as a seemingly simple chronicle on the effects of drugs and the looseness of youth, will quickly transition and resonate on a much deeper level. Because that’s not at all the story here.
As glorious vocal harmonies are introduced across the mix, the story actually unfolds to describe a man and woman in the throes of realizing the cruelty and inevitableness of their fate. As deep as that sounds, and it is – the musical textures beneath it couldn’t possibly provide a more delightful and wistful backdrop. Like a gentle spring breeze, only that this wind might be whispering through the outstretched limbs of a loved one who is sadly slipping away. It is this kind of emotional depth that underpins the narrative, juxtaposed against an innocent and reflective melancholy that only an Indie Dream Pop sound can provide. Mellow Daze appear to be instant masters of that balance.
Just more than a minute in, the drums pick up and we hear the full band in unison for the first time. There is certainly a capable enough symmetry and chemistry in their playing, and the percussive elements are carefully crafted and expertly played – but I just can’t unhook from the lyric!
It is this kind of emotional depth that underpins the narrative, juxtaposed against an innocent and reflective melancholy that only an Indie Dream Pop sound can provide
There are feelings of guilt, genuine anger at the circumstances that befall us, a resentment for the gods that allow for wishful prayers to go unanswered – even a longing for the desire to have different choices and therapies and remedies to help us through. Often, the treatments we must subject ourselves to, simply in a desperate effort to survive – can also most commonly contribute to our rate of decline. Think drugs, think medicine, think Chemo.
Incredibly moved by the maturity in both the vocal construction and performance, I sincerely hope these “3 blokes from the dark depths of East Keilor” continue to take such bold strokes, as they confront and reflect on the world around them. Sorry fellas – after a first single like this – doing anything less would just be unfair.