By Charlie Maybee
California based singer-songwriter, Chris Beland, gets pensive about the tenuous line between disagreement and connection with his new single “Family Tree”, which comes as the leading single of his upcoming album, What I Believe.
The song tries to make sense from the tension that has arisen from current affairs in politics by suggesting that there is something more than meets the eye. “There’s no need for forgiveness / What’s done is done, you see?”, Beland sings before the instrumental choruses, “I’ve been right where you wanted / and you’re my family tree”. He pleads for a simpler method and response that requires introspection and a sense of connection. “You are one with me” he sings, suggesting that ethereal connection between humans can have a healing effect. That the common ground of being human should be enough to overcome these troubled times.
Inspired by the folk traditions and philosophies of Bob Dylan, Andrew Bird, and Neil Young, Belend notes that, “We’re all part of this together. Even if you don’t like the person on the other side of the aisle, you’re still connected”. Longing for a sense of connectivity and conversation between disparate ends, the song offers itself up as an offering of introspective middle ground where different ideas and people can coexist and interact.
“It felt like I had something to speak to this generation,” Beland says of the upcoming album as another generation comes into the world through his living room. “I want to bring people together instead of divide”. Time will tell whether this peaceful plea will make the difference, but he holds the space for those who see it as a way forward.
“Family Tree” is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music. His next album, What I Believe, will also be available to stream on September 16, 2022. Find this and more excellent music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture Playlist on Spotify.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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