“Calm Before the Storm” by October Brigade feels like a film score. The dynamic escalation is monumental, and the angst-doused melodies repeat with a satisfying familiarity. The instrumentation screams drama, as strings cascade through the mix, intertwining with background vocals and orchestral percussion. It’s music that not only evokes a feeling but a visual or a story. Whatever it is you picture when you listen to this song, it’s bound to be extraordinary.
The song begins with a wispy, high-pitched drone and an organic piano line. The harmony is minor, but not necessarily depressing–it’s more foreboding. The singer croons, “A grey sky, heavy heart,” with a breathy, forward tone. The lyrics outline a scene littered with dark imagery, mostly associated with the song’s principal metaphor: “Like the calm before the storm,” she cries. A vocal harmony clings to the lead with grace. The instrumentation remains simple underneath this anxiously awaited hook, allowing the climactic melody to shine. It’s fascinating to consider the arc of this song, as it slowly builds from being calm to rather intense in the end. It mirrors the concepts described in the lyrical content. It genuinely feels like you’re being thrust from a gentle atmosphere to a harrowing storm.
Some toms form a thumping beat in the second verse. Cymbals swell as transitions between sections. Vocal harmonies bleed onto new melodies. By the third chorus, we’re being submerged in waves of strings and reverb-drenched vocal motifs. The build suddenly culminates in a few impassioned string hits and dissolves back into that first piano riff.
If you’re looking to inject your everyday life with some excitement, this song could be for you. “Calm Before the Storm” is a beautiful example of how music can manipulate your feelings.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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