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Single Review: Snowtown “Happy Birthday”

When singer/songwriter Jesse Garcia committed to ending his life on his fifteenth birthday, he threw a party to say goodbye. Unbeknownst to his friends in attendance, this would be the last they saw of him. However, as fate rears its head and intervenes, one friend did not want the party to end and stayed long into the night, preventing this tragic event from unfolding. “Happy Birthday” is a tribute track to that friend Lou, the unknowing savior and catalyst for Jesse to rethink his suicidal desires. Released as a single by Jesse’s alt-rock/experimental band Snowtown, “Happy Birthday” is rich in imagery and metaphor as the tale of this awakening is portrayed. Using these metaphors allow Jesse to share his gratitude, and declare his newfound love of life in thematic symbolism, yet remains grounded as to not be lost in rhetoric to the next fifteen-year-old in that position.

Featuring guest vocalist, iloveyoulemonpie, Jesse incorporates mature and professional vocal harmonization to capture the analogy of that friend looking out for our lead character. The effective dynamic of the different keys encapsulates the frequency range as the singers are able to juxtapose each other adding contrast to this delicate subject matter. Taking this subject aside, Happy Birthday is quite an enjoyable track. The clever instrumentation, incorporating a progressive bassline underlying the syncopated snare on the downbeat highlights the melodic process involved in this track. The production values are well-executed as the dynamic range is clearly defined allowing the listener to relate to each element in its own right. Happy Birthday would be well-met on any Urban/Pop/Alt. Rock radio playlist as the imagery and the song structures capture the audience’s attention, coupling that infectious hook, and this could be radio gold.

–Lee Callaghan



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