Daily Discovery: Good Lovelies Captures the Feeling of Youthful Ambition on “Life on the Road”

Nailing the three-part harmony once again is Canada’s roots-pop trio band Good Lovelies on “Life on the Road,” a recent release off their EP B-Sides.

The song details the conflicting and comforting dichotomy between enjoying a quiet life at home and the desire to continue sojourning onwards into new adventures always. Kerri Ough, who comprises a third of the band (other members include Caroline Brooks and Susan Passmore) explains the inspiration behind the song.

“Something I’ve learned from spending a big chunk of my adult life living out of a suitcase is that the craving for novelty, adventure and the unknown goes hand in hand with the desire for familiarity, safety and the comforts of home,” Ough shares with American Songwriter. “It’s a subject I’ve thought about a lot—how we hold these two competing desires inside us at the same time. I used to think I had to choose between being an adventurous person who likes to travel or being a person who loves to be at home. The older I get, the more at peace I am with the idea that both of these parts of me need to be fed to keep me feeling alive and thriving.

“This song idea started in our early days on the road and came back into our lives almost a decade later, after years of steady touring. I think it captures the spirit of my younger self who wanted that go-go-go lifestyle, but performed from the vantage point of the older person who has experienced it and also thoroughly enjoys getting back to a quieter life at home.”

As Ough suggests by explaining the central theme, the song kicks into gear after an ear-tingling harmony by the band’s leading ladies and jumps right into the singer’s thoughts: I wanna go, and get out of this place / I wanna go, where people don’t know my name / I wanna go, to get away from it all / Kick up my heels and never look back

There’s a folky and vivacious tune which follows the harmony, creating an atmosphere of youthful restlessness and ambition. This juxtaposition between lyrics and instrumentation, Ough says, is what she loves most about songwriting. 

“I love that you can tell a story, or get a feeling across with words, but more than just words, with the sounds of the instruments you choose and the sounds of voices in harmony together,” she explains. “It’s a type of poetry for sure, but poetry is more exposed, where with songwriting, your poetry can wear a dress, or a wide-brimmed hat, or a fancy suit.”

In the case of “Life on the Road,” the poetry in the song is surely wearing stomping boots and a backpack with all the necessities for the journey ahead. 

Ough explains that the youthful passion and myopic focus, which is so effortlessly captured throughout the track, is something she’s always supported and been in awe of, especially in her experience following her own dreams.

“I live solidly in the camp of people who root for anyone who just goes for what they want from life. The people who go all in and try the thing they think they want. I wanted to be a touring musician since I was 10 years old, but I had no idea what that actually looked like until I was doing it at age 26. So, if there’s a message, I think it would be ‘go for it’ but also be prepared to be wildly surprised by what their dream actually looks like once lived.”

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