Wednesday, December 07, 2011

HEAR THIS: The Band Perry "Dies Young"

So put on your best, boys and I'll wear my pearls
What I never did is done
A penny for my thoughts?

Oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I've been singing
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'
-"If I Die Young", The Band Perry

The Band Perry is a singer/songwriter co-ed trio of siblings (ages 21-28) of the country persuasion, reportedly discovered by Garth Brooks (' manager) -- and you know that if I'm going on and on about a country act, it's only because there is obvious crossover appeal. That and the song is so utterly singable and sticky, I can't get it out of my head. The group's second official single, "If I Die Young", is the perfect melding of the young earnestness of Taylor Swift and Gloriana with the Top 40 meets Hot A/C Radio Appeal of Lady Antebellum. The song has already banked at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts, and have helped earned them a Grammy Nod for Best New Artist.

The song itself is beautiful in its traditional country melancholy. You can always count on country to bring to the table the heavy (and still make it utterly singable with a smile on your face so you don't even realize!). It could be with relationship drama (say Carrie Underwood via "Before He Cheats" or virtually every Taylor Swift song ever) or the onslaught of a momentary depression. "If I Die Young" is of the latter, poetically expressing the death of its narrator and championing that life is too short so appreciate those you love in the moment. Only a country song could move me with its simplicity with a topic so dark and introspective -- this is the type of single (with some plausible religious overtones) you wouldn't ordinarily hear on the mainstream radio these days. From the first time I heard it, I was held captive by its mournful, pensive feel. 

Couple this with the fact that the band are all siblings, writing their own material ("If I Die Young" was completely written by the group's lead singer, eldest Perry kid Kimberly) and playing instruments. It doesn't quite have the massive appeal that "Need You Now" or "Love Story" did, but there is an unspoken X-Factor that makes me believe The Band Perry are ones to watch.

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