I get many requests for reviews and many get turned away, many for being too mainstream. Not that I have problems with a more accessible sound if the music is still good, but my charter is to work around the edges and find the gems that the other media outlets gloss over. In the case of a band out of Ft Worth named Left Arm Tan and specifically their song “Wish,” the sound may be mainstream, but the message is right down my alley.
The song starts off with reminiscent lyrics about youth and you think “oh here we go again with the same old formula,” but as it progresses, “Wish” reveals itself as a wise, well-written, and poignant song. With the chorus, “Well I wish I wish I was me, instead of wishing I was someone I will never be,” the song hits on a theme I have discussed here often, but has never been put to song so well.
I think it is important when we talk about saving country music, that we don’t work from a position of envy. In truth the joke is on them. They may have the big money, the control of the radio stations and the media. But we have each other, and true themes mined from real life experiences. Let them have their fake world, we have real music.
Yes, this song probably curried my favor with the line:
“Well I see them up there receiving the Grammy award
Then I hear them sing live, their tune is flat as a board
Well I can’t understand not a word of their songs
I keep thinking someone might bang a gong.
But this isn’t necessarily an anti-Nashville song, it is more about the singer realizing that he shouldn’t be envying people living fake lives when he has something true already. The way the song works is brilliant, and the arrangement and production is superb.
Not every obscure independent/underground country band deserves a big break just because they try hard and are talented. But “Wish” delivers accessibility without sacrificing soul, and should deliver them a hit worthy of any country station’s rotation.
Two guns up!
“Wish” is off the Left Arm Tan album called Jim that can be purchased and previewed by clicking here. (Just the song “Wish” is available too). And you can listen to “Wish” in its entirety, as well as get more info on the band and listen to other songs on their Reverb Nation page.