Here at The Ark, we’ve heard every kind of pandemic-related song you can possibly imagine since the start of the year. These tracks have touched on every possible aspect of life that’s been effected – we’ve heard everything from aggressive antigovernmental and anti-vaccine propaganda to extremely literal descriptions of the staying inside and mask wearing that we’ve all learned to deal with. To be frank, very few of them seem to evoke anything other than a surface-level response; a handsy grab at a passing phenomenon, hoping to be the artist who gets to cash in.
Then, we heard She Said by Big Brutus.
This song is the antithesis of all of these campy on-the-nose pandemic-related releases we’ve come do have quite a bit of disdain for. No, this track looks at the pandemic from the human angle – not the what, but the how. It paints the most compelling picture of a couple hunkering down for the winter amidst the upcoming second lockdown, a duo who exist only within the confines of their home. In this track, Big Brutus isn’t talking about the world’s response to the mayhem or any grand acts of kindness by humanity, he’s looking at the simple image of two people as they get by despite it all. They are but speck on the surface of the reality of the situation, but the kind of speck we can all relate to – a speck that understands that all most of us can do “in these uncertain times” (eyeroll) is simply carry on.
The production of this track reflects the concept – it’s a simple acoustic guitar, a haunting and subtle male vocal that’s joined by an ethereal female voice as the track progresses. The addition of the cello into the first chorus is where the song really grabs ahold of you, and once you’re engrossed in the story you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away. A slow build, delicate keys, a purely melodic chorus – it’s eccentric without being uncomfortable and indisputably captivating. It even has a touch of cosmic energy, capturing that “drifting aimlessly through space” feeling that so many of us are still grappling with as the year come to a close.
Nobody needs nor wants an anthem for 2020 – many of us want this year of tumultuousness to fade into oblivion as quickly as it arose. But if there were a place for a song that actually captured a piece of how the human spirit felt this year, She Said fits that bill. Because at the end of the day, while the restrictions and protests and vehemence and fear raged outside, for most of us, this year was defined by what went on inside your home, by the conversations we had and the words she said.
BELOW: Listen to She Said, and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Big Brutus by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!