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“The Heart Beats On” by Remain

Denton, Texas four-piece Remain first formed in 2014 and hit with their debut EP The World Beyond a year later. Almost ten years have passed since they announced their presence and the band continues writing, recording, and performing music with a fresh and vital edge. They’ve endured some lineup changes since their beginnings, but their full-length debut Millennial Nation delivers on the promise present in their work from the outset. “The Heart Beats On” is a single from that release highlighting Remain’s assorted virtues.

It’s pop rock with teeth. “The Heart Beats On” has musical chops to burn though the band consistently refrains from ostentatious displays of virtuosity. Their grasp of rock’s melodic possibilities sets them apart from similar bands and there’s purpose behind every note they play. Mixing the melodic and a judicious amount of grit in their guitar sound proves to be a potent synthesis.

Their emphasis on the vocal arrangement sets them apart as well. Remain has more than one serviceable voice and making use of that strength broadens the single’s appeal. Polished lyrics are important towards this end. The writing for “The Heart Beats On” will connect with any listener and the plainly stated language still brims with intelligence. It isn’t pandering for listener’s attention nor sounding insincere.

It is an ideal length. Remain’s understanding of pop rock songcraft extends to duration as well. They know that the best examples of this style have tight composition and a no nonsense approach. “The Heart Beats On” checks those boxes while dealing with a time-tested topic in an individualistic way. It is increasingly difficult, but Remain comes out of this cut sounding like a band with their own voice.

They successfully incorporate their influences into their music without paying attention to specific similarities. Remain is a band that gets the necessity of transmuting the forces that shaped them as musicians into a vehicle for personal statement. No one remembers the near tribute acts over the decades who parlay their mimicry into a briefly profitable run. What people remember is music that picks up the baton and says things we recognize in signature ways. Remain checks those boxes and more.

Texas has always been fertile ground for musicians and bands boasting big characters. Remain whips up a highly charged musical storm with “The Heart Beats On” and brings a surprising amount of raw-boned intensity to bear. The music still sparkles, however, and there’s a persistent bounce in this song’s step that has an infectious effect on listeners. Remain has made the right move opting for a full-length album debut and it isn’t any stretch to imagine them capable of so much more than this.

This, however, is outstanding in every way. One final factor capable of persuading listeners is the audible buoyancy in the song. Half measures aren’t powering this song; instead, a full-throated conviction fuels every line and note. It’s obvious that Remain is bringing their creative skills to bear on this single and the debut’s other songs. “The Heart Beats On” is an excellent introduction for newcomers to the band’s music and paves the way into Remain’s future. 

Mindy McCall



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