Santa Monica native now Norwegian resident Campbell Waldron makes melancholy waves with “TV Screen.” Waldron, a seemingly music prodigy from a young age has studied various genres and instruments as far back as a young boy learning piano, African percussion and picking up guitar after witnessing a Led Zeppelin performance that was a decidedly pivotal moment for his development as a player.
With so many tricks under his belt, you’d assume his production would be flashy and decidedly technical in its efficiency, but with this release, he leans closer to the latter. It’s a nostalgic anthem, one that feels like it’s existed for years and I could realistically see being covered by many bands well after its release. It sets the tone perfectly with a guitar riff that sounds as Gen-X angst inspired as something you might find on a vintage Smashing Pumpkins release and Waldron leans into that sound with confidence.
For a track that was recorded in his self-described small Norwegian apartment, it’s very well mixed and mastered, only having an occasional over indulgence of the instrumentals around the chorus that can sometimes drown out the lyrics. It’s an easy listen that despite the simple lyrics feels complex and most of that stems from the fantastic heartfelt performance Waldron gives. His voice has that kind of welcome nasally flair or your Billy Corgan’s or Billie Joe Armstrong and it only compliments the sloppy yet composed grunge composition.
The only small issues I have with the song is that while it never becomes static, you never get the stronger sense of escalation you can feel the song wants to have as it heads towards the finish line. It also has an interesting choice that I can’t tell is stylistic or not where the song almost seemingly leads into another song that’s of a decidedly different sound, creating a slight tonal dissonance as it exists. I’d also like to see some more complex lyrics that don’t lean as much to a universal perspective, seeing as its clear that Waldron has such a distinct and unique life and it’d be exciting to see that explored in future endeavors. We get hints of it with his condemnation of drug dealers as he is formerly one and it’s clear that his desire for more concrete answers from life comes from a series of setbacks he’s faced as a young man, seemingly all the way into his adulthood. It’s apparent he’s a complex person and I want to see that better reflected in his words.
With that said, what is present is soulful and stirring, with evocative imagery littered throughout the song. Waldron has crafted something very special that feels timeless and more relevant than ever in these troubling times we’re facing. What could have been your run of the mill society slam session, is more optimistic when looking at oneself as the answer to overcoming the misery of the world. It’s a welcome change of pace from a time when most music seems to languish in misery, but not provide a light to shine through it.
The music of Campbell Waldron has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com
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