It’s hard to make sense of everything that’s happening right now. Well, maybe that’s not quite the right way to say it — we are living under a fascist regime, plain and simple. But it’s confusing and there are a lot of emotions to process and, of course, music can bring those emotions out of our heads and into our hands, voices, and words. The husband-wife duo JOHNNYSWIM teamed up with Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors (as well as Penny & Sparrow) to make sense of 2017. In the wake of the Charlottesville murders, Tom Petty’s death, and the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Goodbye Road appeals to our better natures.
The five-song EP takes us through a number of emotional journeys. “Ring the Bells” is a rousing anthem that reinvigorates its listeners for the struggles ahead. Even on the Goodbye Road‘s more somber turns — such as the title track — reaches to the stratophere with moving gang vocals and self-assured melodies. The EP’s high point, for me, is a haunting rendition of Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down” — a performance that, if there ever was one, encapsulates the highs and lows of 2017 with its promises of resistance, grief, and its demostration that, when people work together, they can create something awe-inspiring.
You can learn more about the project here.