Cutting through thick Canadian forest on a lonely highway is a van containing a lively, multigenerational band of traveling troubadours in the music video for Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite’s “Devil’s In My Car.” Every picture is bathed in darkness, and though we can only guess where and what is going to come next on this nighttime road trip into the wilderness, there’s a sense of focus provided to us from the guitar-powered melodies that makes us feel safe and at ease with our surroundings. “Devil’s In My Car” starts off as ominous as ever and keeps getting darker as we embrace its many shades of rootsy rhythm and rhyme.
These visuals have much more in common with alternative country’s surrealism than they do anything else, but the music on its own is much harder to peg from a critical perspective. The guitars are folky and sweet while the vocals have a rock n’ roll grit that is almost begging to be unleashed but never is. There’s a frustrated angst in the lyrics but it isn’t dirge-like, and though the pace of the track is a bit sluggish it doesn’t feel dragged out in the way that many Canadian indie folk songs have in 2019.
The old fashioned charm of “Devil’s In My Car” could be misidentified by some listeners as being an homage to the past, but I don’t pick that up at all in the video or the music. If there’s anything familiar about the actual compositional structure of this song, it’s the intimidating sway of the strings, which is a staple we can find throughout Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite’s debut album Canyon Diablo (one of my favorite records to come out in 2018). This isn’t the most inventive single of the season, but it is in no way another tired throwback in a decade that’s had one to many.
Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite have made a really inspired video and single with “Devil’s In My Car” that audiences really need to take a look at this autumn above all others in Canadian indie music. They’re not quite there yet with regards to their sonic threshold, but the ingredients for an award-winning sound are being utilized in a liberal fashion here (which is definitely a good sign moving forward). This is a great time to be a fan of Canadian roots rock, and with bands like this one leading the charge, the surge of sensational new songs shouldn’t subside anytime soon.
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