When you think of tracks about a loved one passing away, the songs that come to mind are tunes like Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” or perhaps “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Johnny Cash. Slow-paced, tear-jerking, heartfelt. In a sense, Alabama-based Transistor have re-written the rule books on how to write about mourning, releasing single fast-tempoed and bouncy garage-rock anthem “Silver Lining”.
Based in Birmingham, Alabama (a long way from the sounds of the Specials and the Clause) Transistor was formed after a chance meeting online between frontman Patrick Davis and lead guitarist Drew Sikes. After meeting on a music app, the pair discovered that they not only lived in the same American city, but in the same physical building. After Sikes’ apartment flooded, he moved in with JT Ward, who happened to play drums. The line-up was completed by Mason Richardson on bass and vocals. Drawing inspiration from the likes of garage rock icons The Strokes to Springsteen, the four-piece have spent two years cultivating an exciting and invigorating sound. With the backing of local radio, as well as a string of gigs under their belts, Transistor dropped their debut album “Maybe In The Summer” earlier this year. “Silver Lining”, released last Friday, is the third single off the record.
Sonically, the track oozes the summer vibes that the name of its album would imply. It is an upbeat, guitar-driven track, with catchy and anthemic musical elements fit for sun-kissed festivals. With bouncy and jangly guitars, overlayered with youthful and uplifting vocals, the track is bound to put a smile on your face and a swagger in your step.
The positivity in the track, then, is a bit of a surprise when you know what the track is about. “Silver Lining” focuses on the reaction to finding out that your mother has terminal cancer, with the track’s energy mirroring Davis’ mother’s optimism and positivity in the face of adversity. The track looks at the meaning and value of life, particularly when you have been “dealt a terrible hand”.
The melodic positivity mixed with the poignant lyricism creates a brilliantly emotional track. On the face of it, the track is a bouncy and well-polished gem of anthemic indie pop. When you delve deeper, the track means so much more.
'Silver Lining' is out now on all major streaming platforms.