By Charlie Maybee
There’s a trance-like quality to Caddy, Lone Ranger’s new single “When I Die.” It has the feel of a weighted blanket that induces a sense of calm with its heaviness. It submerges you into contemplative space that is hard to break out of as a simple driving beat approaches from a distance, inviting us to dance despite (or perhaps, in tandem with) our sadness.
With the first lines of the song, it becomes clear that we are experiencing the inside of Caddy’s depressed mind that has been musically transposed: “I’m feeling dead again / I’m stuck inside my bed / I can’t remember when I could escape my head.” Where the musical composition feels expansive and indulgent, the brooding lyrics stand in direct opposition as if to put us in a state of emotional contradiction.
As the chorus begins, he sings, “And when I die / I’ll come alive for the first time.” There’s a longing for escape from this state of mind, but as the moody guitar is joined by cascading synthesized arpeggios, we get locked into a meditative repetition aided by the deceptively simple backbeat. It becomes clear that a clean getaway from this state is impossible. This is a song that revels in its sadness.
This is a song written by an artist with a subtle hand whose emotional depth should not be overlooked. Caddy, Lone Ranger manages to capture the complex space between depression and yearning, while insisting that neither emotion is in complete control at any one time. It has a strong draw musically, but what makes us stay is that liminal emotive space of a depressed mind that Caddy has illuminated.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. 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. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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