Friendship is a relationship that society often underestimates. We don’t imbue it with as much importance as we do our romantic relationships, and yet it can be just as, or sometimes even more essential. “Skipping Stones” by Ben Parks is a song about the love and connection between two friends. Overflowing with moving string orchestration and soft, acoustic guitar, this song will take your heart and mind to places rife with memories and complex emotions.
The song begins with a swell of indiscernible white noise, suddenly overtaken by a casual acoustic guitar riff. “I told my family ‘I will see you again soon,’ / My brother asked if I’d consider the spare room,” Ben croons, setting up a narrative songwriting style. This kind of storytelling is a departure from the format of most songs these days. The listener gets the opportunity to peer into someone else’s world for a moment and apply their experiences to their own lives. It’s cathartic and beautifully artistic.
The second verse arrives with a pool of new textures. Reverb-drenched background vocals provide some gentle, “hm’s” as some rumbling strings envelop the low end. You can truly feel yourself melting into the warmth of this song. It flows along effortlessly until instantaneously, everything drops out with the words, “nobody knows.” For half a second we’re left breathless– considering the words, the sounds, the feelings. An instrumental section pulls us out of it. Brand new chords fall in place. A piano clinks gingerly in the background. A kick drum thumps along, solidifying the beat of a song that was previously a bit rhythmically ambiguous. From here on out the instrumentation takes center stage, bringing with it a vibrant emotional intensity.
If you’re looking for something to tug at your heartstrings, but you’re a little tired of the romantic saturation of the music industry, this is the song for you. Be sure to add “Skipping Stones” to your fall playlist!
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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