With the endless stream of music dropping into our inboxes (and sometimes directly onto our phones), ears, and brains on a daily basis (not to mention cat videos and Shmoney dance Vines), sometimes even songs you had the best of intentions of committing to can get lost in the deluge. One exception to that musical overabundance for me has been the songs on Have Mercy's debut The Earth Pushed Back, and, in particular, "Let's Talk About Your Hair" (whose video we premiered back in April of 2013). In a crowded field of like-minded emo bands, the Baltimore band's distinguished themselves with a distinctive sound: whirling guitars, visceral lyrics, and melodically shredded vocals from frontman Brian Swindle.
While other recent tracks from the band's A Place of Our Own, out October 27 on Hopeless Records, reveal an almost upbeat (relatively speaking, of course) pop-punk side, this song, "Two Years" hues closest to the dizzying, confessional crash landing of their earlier material. "I had a life, and I had friends," Swindle screams. "And I miss all of them." The heavy, loaded emptiness is unbearably palpable.
"'Two Years' really set the tone for the record," Swindle says. "I wrote the lyrics on my phone the day that my relationship with my ex ended. I was hanging with a friend, and he had a riff he wanted to mess around with. Somehow the melody I had when I wrote the lyrics and the riff he had fit perfectly."
The two stayed up all night working on "Two Years."
"The song is just kind of a conversation with myself about the things that were going on in my head," Swindle says. "We wrote a few songs for the record before this song but once it was written we knew how we wanted to finish the album and what feel we wanted to give."
What feel is that? All of them, really.