Song: “Into The Sun” (Bad Decision Mix) – Lord Huron (free, legal download available HERE)
Why I Luv It: Ben Schneider absorbed more than the sunlight once he touched down in Los Angeles. The Michigan transplant’s beautiful Caribbean-inflected songwriting is sunshine incarnate as Lord Huron and has produced two lovely EPs: Mighty & Into The Sun. He makes all sounds on the records by himself but tours backed by a full band.
The song “Into The Sun” has been remixed by many an up-and-coming producer, but it is Brooklyn-based Bad Decision‘s (Gavin Royce & Arvin Ajamian) version that is the most successful of the bunch. While the original is infused with a gentle swaying tropicalia, BD’s slightly danced-up re-tweak is dominated by a steel drum boogie and looped vocal phrases that swirl around you until the dark night gets bright and the sun is forced to rise.
They maintain the summery vibe but pile on enough BPMs to get you off your beach blanket and gathering around the bonfire to live it up with the rest of the outdoor revelers. The track is not unlike Animal Collective or Panda Bear if they admitted to knowing that people were actually listening. An early morning orgy of sun, sand and melancholy hedonism, “Into The Sun” is the soundtrack to the last party on earth.
Scene I Can See It In: This remix is a genre unto itself: upbeat yet mellow, introspective yet dancey, serious yet fun-loving. Upon a first look at the title and initial listen, it might be tempting to synch this to a spot for a cruise line or vacation getaway:
“Tell my family I had to leave.
I’m going away, tell my friends for me.
They’d all agree I gotta get out of here.”
While it’s certainly possible to use just a portion of the track to support a brand’s uber-positive getaway philosophy (and hey, who’s gonna stop em?), the upbeat instrumentation and initially happy lyrics belie a deadly serious sentiment:
“I’m gonna sail that boat right into the sun
‘Cause everybody knows that’s how it’s done.
Now don’t you cry and don’t you wait
If I meet my end, well that’d be my fate”
This song is too involved to be interpreted on mood alone and would benefit from a brand taking a chance on a more complex yet rewarding spot. To me, it would fit perfectly for a narrative, almost short film-like spot of an unhappy person imagining what the world would be like without them but choosing instead not to find out. This could be for a dating site or a new anti-depressant or anything in between. How tired are we all of seeing the oft-parodied prescription drug spots of random images followed by a series of quickly spoken warnings? A happy couple! People playing softball!! A man playing with a DOG!!! A more story oriented spot could really breathe new life into a stale genre beginning with this synch.
Stuck at their desk at a miserable job or completely alone at home, wishing to get away and find their happiness but NOT sailing off into the sun forever. The monotony of the introductory beats set the scene as the character is stuck in a rut of unimaginable depths at their job or in their relationship and as the steel drums enter and the vocals loop, they are catapulted into their fantasy as the music explodes and the lyrics begin.
The clouds somehow clear and the sun appears and the hero discovers the aforementioned beach party where none of their problems can touch them anymore. They come out of their fantasy as the same vocal refrain that sent them into their fantasy brings them out and the steel drums re-enter. The person has now sampled the happiness they desired and is ready to change their lives and has paid the lyrics off. That — or the theme song to that Joe Versus The Volcano reboot we won’t soon be seeing. Either or, really.