It’s a comfortable semi-addictive form of sadness, lying beneath the sheets on a Sunday morning sandwiched somewhere between consciousness and sleep. Half wishing someone was there beside you but not making that an issue, merely a resigned passing reflection – life after all isn’t always exactly what we want it to be.
Sure, you’ll stretch it out as the day begins for real, but for the time being you’re happy to stay and let the melancholy mood wash over you. That’s the sensation I evoked listening to JUNO-Award winning, Toronto-based Justin Rutledge’s new single, “Easy,” released just yesterday.
“Easy” came, well, easy, as Justin admits: “The melody arrived after I got the kids to bed, happily exhausted. Most songs are trouble, they really do a number on me, but this one was kind. Songs rarely arrive this gently, although I wish they did. Mostly they just wait there, high above my head where I can’t touch them, waiting for the light to hit.”
Self-written, recorded and produced, the track builds from a short piano introduction with subtle, but beautifully crafted guitar work over light drum work – this mix creating a wonderful sparse atmospheric dreamscape, and additional backing vocals that augment the song’s capacity to further entice the listener.
“Where’ve you been / Let the beauty begin / Can you show me? / A face in the crowd / With his head in the clouds / Do you know me?”
For anyone unfamiliar with Justin’s work, the best immediate parallel I can offer is with the later works of fellow Canadian songsmith Leonard Cohen, whose “Ten New Songs” springs to mind, with perhaps echoes of Ryan Adams at his most relaxed best thrown in for good measure. That alone should be sufficient praise to make the curious seek it out.
Photo Credit: Jen Squires