Everyone loves a solid summer banger but there’s something to be said for summer songs that lie on the other side of the spectrum. Music that moves us inward into a state of reflection as the fragrance of sweet magnolias drifts on the warm breeze. Summer possesses a beautiful sense of ennui. A languidness that settles with the heat and hangs in the thick humidity. It’s no mistake that Joy Division’s masterpiece Closer was released in July or that the Cure dropped their introspective tour de force Pornography in May. Lou Reed also chose July to bring his heartbreaking album Berlin into the world and graced us with the raw beauty of poignant songs like Candy Says.
Vancouver’s duo Focus Your Audio’s latest single On Your Own hits just before daybreak on summer nights when it’s too hot to sleep. When we sit at open windows looking out over the stillness of the city as solitary cars move silently on dark streets. It’s a gorgeous reflective song that uses one voice to present two perspectives. As Focus Your Audio states in their press release,
“Not everyone we love chooses to stay and not everyone who asks us to stay understands why we can’t”.
This predicament is felt in the strength and nuance of Sarah McArthur’s voice. Mike Young’s (of Mother Mother fame) artful production is perfectly understated and he allows the vocals to carry the song’s weight and intent. Bobby McAloney’s instrumentation supports the sense of quietude and contemplation with a subtle atmospheric quality. This an immersive song. It pulls us into a familiar emotional place where questions are unanswerable and holds us there softly with a sense of love. In the swell of the final chorus McArthur’s voice rises in an emotional plea for certainty. When she sings “Maybe I could stand here and change your mind” it resonates in a familiar place deep in the heart of every sleepless summer night.