A staggered beat is flanked by a bittersweet melody as we listen in on the first few seconds of “By Your Side,” the new single from singer/songwriter Tim Snider and Wolfgang Timber, and as endearingly subtle and wholly surreal as these opening bars of the track are, they’re but a drop in the bucket compared to the breathy emotionality that will soon come pouring from our speakers. Snider means serious business in this song, and although he’s still discovering the ins and outs of the music business through sheer trial and error, this is a track that verifies his authenticity as well as the likelihood of having a shot at stardom beyond the recording of this single. The studio is the training ground, and here, he proves ready to make folky pop music his lifestyle.
There are several different ways to attack a harmony like that which we find in the first verses of “By Your Side,” but if you’re a vocalist like Tim Snider, it makes perfect sense to go a little slow at first – if only to let the audience get swept away in the minute melody before taking our hearts on a real thrill ride. When he wants to, this is a singer who can let go of everything and break off an amazing lead (as demonstrated on a couple of different occasions in this single), and even though he doesn’t go full operatic in this performance, you don’t have to be an audio expert to appreciate the depth of his skill as it stands today.
I wouldn’t change any of the cosmetics nor the structural integrities that make “By Your Side” the song it is in the version out this December, but I do think it’s teasing a much grander style of performing in Tim Snider that would likely only be accessible to us in the live concert setting he was always meant to rule over. He needs just a little more space than the four confining walls of a recording studio can afford him to let the entire world know just how strong a melody he has a heart, and though we’re getting a decent sampling of that talent in this release, I don’t think we’re going to know how profound it is until he has the chance to take to the stage.
“By Your Side” concludes the same way that it gets started; with a surreal, fleeting melody that echoes into the ethers for a bit after the music has ceased to play entirely. Indie acts are usually among the artists you think of when you’re looking for something haunting and emotional, and yet talented players like Tim Snider go above and beyond that standard to give us exactly what his soul can produce, and I’m mightily pleased with what his attitude has made here. This is a passionate track, sonically stacked and buoyant enough to suggest a lot of good things ahead for its composer, and despite his underground profile, I think Tim Snider is the reason it feels like a mainstream hit from beginning to end.
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