At this point, we’ve all heard stories about how the pandemic is impacting musicians. From lost income to lost opportunity to lost joy, the music-makers among us—hobbyists and multi-platinum professionals alike—have been hit hard by this crisis. Yet, on the flipside, the life-altering impact of almost a year of quarantining has also inspired a lot of artists to think out-of-the-box and make some of their most ambitious work to date.
Among those artists are Brian Naubert and Heather Larimer, the brains behind Corvair. On January 12, they dropped their newest single, “Green (Mean Time),” which originated as an outgrowth from the husband-and-wife duo’s quarantine experience. Isolated at their home in Portland, Oregon, they began to delve into new ideas, both musically and thematically. The end result is a song that is dynamic and bombastic, but with infectious, subtle melodies and fascinating lyrical imagery.
“Social isolation got Heather and I thinking hard about being in exile within your own life, when your survival instinct choices keep taking you further and further away from what you truly want,” Naubert told American Songwriter. “I wanted to experiment with a pattern of suppression, explosion and resolution—musically, lyrically and emotionally.”
And it’s true, “Green (Mean Time)” is really a fantastic case-study in why tension and release is so important in songwriting. Between the rise and fall of the dynamics, the sudden bursts of the rhythm section and the fact that it’s a four-minute song and the first chord change doesn’t occur until 0:45 seconds in, the tune keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat.
“I want listeners to feel transported on an emotional and sonic journey,” Naubert continued, “from a cold tension to a cathartic outburst and then landing on a hypnotic thrum that feels vulnerable and sustaining, almost like a prayer.”
For her part, Larimer noted that “Green (Mean Time)” serves as a cathartic confessional of sorts. “The song was written deep in the eerie Spring of 2020 when COVID was first hitting hard,” she said. “Things were sprouting to life but the world was shutting down. The title alludes to that tension, and also to Greenwich Mean Time, the standard time zone for the globe, as the singer declares that no matter where she runs, she will be setting her clocks to one specific place and person forever. Deep mood swings, tense guitars and exploding drums tell a story about running from place to place, hoping to find a home, and finally surrendering on a familiar doorstep. Hung on a series of cryptic confessions—’I ran to a dozen bridges to double down on anemia’—the song is highly dynamic, exploring the extremes of loud and soft, finally spooling out into a hypnotic and desperate outro that begs: ‘swear you’ll let me in.’”
“Green (Mean Time)” is the first single from Corvair in 2021 and the third single from their forthcoming debut record, Corvair, which is due on February 19. With drum parts provided by Eric Eagle (Jesse Sykes, Wayne Horvitz) and engineering by Martin Feveyear (Brandi Carlile, Damien Jurado, Mudhoney), the record is poised to be an exciting, engaging and dynamic expression of Naubert and Larimer’s talents.
Watch the music video for “Green (Mean Time)” by Corvair below: