Could it be that popular music has been splintered and digitized and compressed and remixed and mashed up for so long now that the surest, freest sign of authenticity and revolt in 2013 is nothing more or less than a frank, spirited rock’n’roll song?
Well, okay, maybe not. But “Take It On Faith” is surely a frank and spirited rock’n’roll song, with old-school drive and new-school…something or another. Actually, I’m not quite sure what makes this sound current and alive but it does, to me, in that there is nothing nostalgic or pandering going on here. We have wailing guitars, we have a pounding keyboard, and most of all we have an upward-surging minor-key melody so succinct and irresistible that Mays builds both verse and chorus upon it. And while yes there is something Springsteen-esque in Mays’ scuffed-up baritone, the vibe here feels more nimble and quicksilver-like than a 60-something rock’n’roll deity can traffic in any longer. A particular favorite moment of mine here is how the chorus retreats after the second iteration of the words “take it on faith” (0:57), with Mays backing off the anthemic melody to grumble something low and indecipherable. It feels unexpected, real, and alluring.
“Take It On Faith” is from the album Coyote, which was released on Halifax-based Sonic Records back in September. This is Mays’ third effort as a solo artist; he also has two albums released under the name Matt Mays & El Torpedo, most recently in 2008. That was when he was previously featured here. This song just recently came to the attention of the folks at Magnet Magazine, and that’s where it even more recently came to my attention. MP3 (once more) via Magnet.
photo credit: Devin McLean