If you checked out the series of 3 “New Year’s Reso-tune-tions” that I did last week, you might remember that my first vow was to cheer up a bit, musically speaking. Of course I broke that promise to myself almost immediately by posting a moody but totally beautiful song called “No Room For Doubt” by Lianne La Havas. My bad. I just can’t help it! So many of my favorite songs sound like downers, even when their lyrics are upbeat and inspirational — Gillian Welch’s “Hard Times” really stands out in this respect. But I’m not giving up, and Generationals are helping to push me in the right direction. My big-city friend Coyle sent me two colorfully named Generationals tunes via Spotify late last year — “Black And White” and “Greenleaf” — and the more I listen to them, the more it becomes clear that they offer the inverse of “Hard Times.” Even though they deal with complicated or ambiguous emotions, there’s an unfailing sunniness to both tracks. Take “Greenleaf,” for example. The lyrics have a vaguely indicting tone, but there are two high-pitched piano parts that keep the track feeling light and fun — one that provides constant, driving eighth-notes and a second, even more cheery melodic line that speeds up ever so slightly, as if it’s so happy to be there, it can’t wait for the rest of the music to catch up. See what I mean below, and if you feel as uplifted as I did, you can click here to snag their 2011 album Actor-Caster on iTunes.
Generationals — “Greenleaf“