by Susan Varnes-Newland
(Guest blogger from Grieve The Astronaut) ~ ~
“Shades Away” by Focus Your Audio
I learn so much from musicians. Not only from their music, but also how they handle the transitions in their lives. Some of the most powerful music written, comes following a transition. Their message becomes personal and sincere. It’s their healing process. Which in turn, can become our healing process.
I’m always impressed when a song can weave its way into my soul, and pull it out to be joined in harmony with the music. “ Shades Away” , by new indie/folk duo Focus Your Audio, is one of those songs. The Canadian duo are comprised of vocalist Sarah Stewart and guitarist Bobby McAloney. I had already experienced Bobby’s guitar finesse during a performance with his previous band, Modern Day Poets. However, that was a completely different genre. Intense rock, with a full band. I thought they were fantastic, and was sad to see the musicians disband, and continue on their separate journeys. It’s always difficult to watch a band you love break up. But I’m learning, that this can also be an incredible growth opportunity for the individual artists.
I’m watching that happen with Bobby McAloney and his new musical pursuit with Sarah Stewart. Focus Your Audio is a more intense and soulful approach to music. I can actually feel the music and it’s message. Bobby’s acoustic guitar and Sarah’s voice are perfectly matched. They weave in and out of each other in perfect intensity and rhythm. There is no competition. Just perfect union.
“Shades Away” is hauntingly beautiful, both lyrically and musically. It’s filled with pure honesty, performed straight from their hearts. And it’s also a very frustrating song for me. I can literally hear how a string quartet would expand the depth even further. Especially during the chorus, with the increased intensity at each repetition. This song has the possibility of becoming an orchestral masterpiece.
An absolutely incredible piece of work. I can’t quit listening to it. If this is their first song, I can’t wait to hear the rest!
Check it out yourself…
Bravo Bobby and Sarah. BRAVO.
SUSAN IN SEATTLE