“Before 23” by jakesghost

“Before 23” by jakesghost is a song for the Foo Fighters/Radiohead/Smashing Pumpkins fans of the world. It’s dark, melodic, rock-oriented, and most of all constantly interesting. It’s driven by a classically incredible chord and melody combination and ornamented with some unique production and instrumentation.

It begins with a reverb-doused, moody guitar riff, coupled with a rather spirited vocal line: “Anna gave her life away / Saving for a place to stay.” Already, we’re digesting a narrative about a person who is down on their luck and struggling to stay afloat. The chords here are brooding, angsty, and musically non-diatonic, which injects the message with a little extra urgency. The first chorus pops in suddenly, with a more major-leaning progression, and the melody becomes a little catchier. This juxtaposition is an ever-effective tool used across genres. It makes the chorus feel like a refreshing departure from an engaging yet dismal verse.

After this first chorus, an acoustic guitar, a piano, and some drums perform these driving hits. We’re thrown into another verse all of a sudden, but this time with full instrumentation and a higher-pitched melody. This is where the song really starts to feel grungy. These bit-crushed power chords envelop the sound. The drums get busier and a bit more textural. The track gets continuously more unhinged, still melting into that vibrant chorus at times, but also exploding with sounds and ominous chords.

If this sounds like something that might be up your alley, it only continues to get better. Be sure to check out jakesghost. His take on modern rock music is unique and invaluable.

Written by Alyce Lindberg




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