“The Room” by Wild Horse (UK)
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrote for The Invisible Song Club live show.)
“The Room” is a poignant song which both lyrically and musically takes us to the strange place that was 2020. There is an immediate emotional drive, which has a few ups and downs throughout the entire song. We’re brought into a world that we all experienced-- forced into lockdown, to spend who knows how long in virtual solitary-confinement. And this song captures this nicely, from the perspective of a teenage songwriter, and fresh pop rock-feel that is at the same time both musically bright and infused with melancholy.
The song starts with a twangy electric guitar riff, rife with reverb, and a rhythmic bass. The Drums come in after a few bars with a short flourish and the drives home a heavy crash cymbal, and an upfront snare.
The vocals come in full of emotion. The voice is gravelly, and powerful. The hi-hat rolls, and the snare hits the 3rd beat sharp and loud. The lyric sets the scene.
In the room
Got me feeling like I’m someone new
I think that really captures its well. The surreal feeling, almost out of body experience, many of us felt during lockdown. And, of course, the mention of Zoom. While this might prematurely date the song, it has been a major part of the experience for everyone. So, it is a welcome addition.
The chorus moves directly into the verse, and the electric guitar rings out an occasional clear, brief chord. The vocals pull back slightly, holding notes longer, with a more contemplative feel. And we’re led into the story, how the subject of the song missed his 18th birthday celebration, among everything else happening in the world.
After a repeat verse and chorus, the song moves into a middle bit, and the instrumentation pulls back a bit. Backing vocals come in holding an ooh as the staccato delivery of the lead vocal presents more than a hint of desperation.
The chorus is repeated, and the song comes to a close, mirroring the introduction which provides a very satisfying bookend.
The lyric is really descriptive, and captures the lockdown and the whole social distancing thing in a way I think many of us were feeling. For example, here is the words from the middle bit.
I don’t know if I can take more honey
Panic buying with my furlough money
I’m breaking down because
This year seemed so promising
It’s been a write off
More hate and less love
It seems we’re going backwards
With “The Room” Wild Horse have captured a moment in time with this song. It is a snapshot of emotion, both musically and lyrically, of a year we might otherwise want to forget. And yet they do it with a level of freshness, and lots of talent.
-- Mark David Stallard