Following their 2018 “Reset” EP, Carman, MB, band, The Rainy Day Apparel, return with a brand new single, “Moon, Light & Waves.” Written in loving memory of someone so very dear to him, longtime songwriter and performer Nathan Ess puts his heart on his sleeve through this song in a not-so-obvious way. What is obvious, however, is that he genuinely shares the pain of such close friends who suffered a great loss. “In January, 2019, [some] friends of mine lost their 3 year old daughter, Abby, in a very tragic accident,” Nathan offers. “They had their lives turned upside down, but are doing their best to cope and keep her memory alive, and asked if I would write a song in her honour.”
Opening with an extended guitar and drum intro, the melody drew me in as if being embraced by a warm hug, offering a strong sense of love from the music alone, long before any words are shared. And with the closing lines, “I love you there and back,” a reference made to the moon, I have recollections of Amelia Hepworth’s children’s book, “I Love you to the Moon and Back,” providing perhaps a small hint that Nathan’s focus is the loving memory of a child. With some delightful infusion of harmonica, itself a resemblance of a personal conversation between souls, his fond memories of this angel are evident, and this song a testament to how he is processing them.
As somber as the underlying topic happens to be, Nathan’s carefully crafted lyrics allow us all to relate to emotions encountered when thinking of loved ones we have lost. “I close my eyes, feel the rolling tide,” he repeats during each chorus, words formed during time spent at a Mexico beach this past Christmas. “We were in the water a lot, to the point where my wife and I noticed that we could feel the push and pull of the ocean when we tried to sleep at night,” Nathan recalls. “I thought it was a great metaphor, that like Abby, although the waves were gone, the feelings keep swirling around and reminding everyone how special she was.” That in the absence of a loved one, emotions can come and go, can go back and forth, just like the tide.
Connecting the ocean theme to his memories, Nathan soulfully adds the line, “Each memory like sand in my sheets, keeps me awake,” as a recognition of the difficulties faced when trying to refocus our minds from memories that are hard to process. That no matter how much we continue to shake our sheets out, sand still finds its way back. Cue the harmonica once more, acknowledging a brief nod from the angel that knows she is the grain of sand. “Just like the wind on my skin / I feel it again / Rolling wave after wave,” he continues; recalling memories as unpredictable as the breeze, and learning to roll with such emotions as they come and go.
I truly cannot think of a better way to memorialize a loved one than through music and song. “Moon, Lights & Waves” really expresses the truth in nature of how we handle emotional turmoil, and is delivered in such a soothing way that perfectly captures the calm effects sought when listening to waves at the beach. Go ahead a close your eyes, find your inner peace, imagine the ocean, and allow your memories some freedom to swim. A heartfelt and highly recommended listen.