It’s a good day for everyone when Kid Brunswick drops new music, and May 14 was indeed a good day. Just about six months after the release of “Bipolar Rhapsody” we’re met with “When You Were Young” and in my eyes it should be deemed an instant hit.
Harry James, the man behind this musical magic, has been very transparent through his work about struggles he’s faced. He poetically laces trials and tribulations into his lyrics and never shies away from vulnerability in terms of allowing a less than opaque view into his personal life. And this is exactly what music — good music — should be. Real, and raw, and open. Allowing listeners a glimpse into what makes up the person behind it. The blood and flesh and bone of living a life right now, regardless of whatever status society places on their shoulders, knowing that the people we’re looking up to as artists and inspiration face the same situations. As a bonus, his tracks always come not only with insane lyrical dexterity, but some absolutely bangin’ beats too.
You’re introduced to the track with an upbeat, bouncy sound that quickly falls over a grungy riff. Brunswick’s vocal tracking in this song is brilliant. The harmonies and overlays are absolutely incredible and add so much dimension to this song. Lyrics through the first verse the likes of “she started dancing/well that made you upset/that you still need something/to make up for it,” and “you hate yourself for spending too much money on your nose/it blows, and everybody thinks so” paint this picture for me of someone living in comparison. Young people growing up right now are constantly bombarded by highlight reels of others’ lives. Through TV, social media, and even the news, we’re continually and persistently shown the standard we’re ‘supposed’ to be living up to. And when we fall short, we’re riddled with disappointment, left grasping for anything within reach to try and bridge the gap between the picture perfect life ‘they’ are living and what we see unfolding around ‘us.’
The bridge adds more to that previously underlying grunge sound, and then you’re flung into the chorus. “You don’t have the nerve, just make it work/like you did when you were young” rings out over fast paced drums and a killer guitar riff and just as quickly as you enter the pit you’re brought back to that upbeat, pop-rocks melody from the intro. This heavier, grunge-rock sound breathes so much depth into the song as a whole, and the almost dissonant feel between this phrase of the song and the rest of it provides a lot of interest and variety to the overall sound. Being able to blend these elements in a way that they feel connected and a part of one another as opposed to disjointed is the epitome of talent.
My biggest takeaway from this track is that growing up is taxing on anyone, especially now. Sometimes it’s important to revel in the childish, the innocent, the pure enjoyment of being alive. Take moments to live life outside of a screen. You didn’t worry so much when you were young, and getting back to that can be a daunting task. It’s worth it in the long run though, as living this comparative online life can and will take its toll on a person.
This song is an absolute vibe, and the perfect summer song. The one you and your friends blast through speakers with the windows down when you’re driving just after the sun sets but you can still see light on the horizon, relishing those sweet, childlike intricacies of life while trying desperately to forget about ‘the negative news.’ “When You Were Young” is going to continue to play on repeat until the next Kid Brunswick release because honestly, I can’t get enough of it.