Love conquers all.
Videos by American Songwriter
That, in a way, is the underlying message of the new single and accompanying music video for the track, “Phoenix,” by the Seattle, Washington-based rock band The Salmonberries.
The song itself begins with a curious, intriguing guitar line, and chords that harken from both long ago and today. The band builds atop. And lead singer Ray Hall begins to growl in reverence when ready.
But what is he singing about, exactly?
“That strong men should be able to humble themselves to acknowledge the greatness in powerful women,” the band’s frontman tells American Songwriter. “Especially ones they love. Also, don’t ever take yourself TOO seriously.”
“Phoenix,” which comes from the band’s new LP, Reasons, recorded by local rock legend Jack Endino (he of the Northwest “Grungefather” fame), was inspired by adoration. But also by those delightful artifacts: comic books.
“[The new single] is a love letter written from the perspective of an immortal man, storied in his own right, to a divine woman that is just barely out of reach,” says Hall. “It’s a poem about all the ways he’d humble himself to be graced with her presence.”
Like a lot of music entering the ether these days, the song was born from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and subsequent downtime.
“We had taken a forced hiatus because of the pandemic, in early 2020,” says Hall. “Fast forward to late October 2020 and Elliott, Tom, and I started hanging out again and sharing new material. Elliott showed us this chord progression and I loved it.”
He continues, “At the time I was reading a lot of X-Men books and The Dark Phoenix was fresh in my mind, so that was the source of my lyrics. On the way home from Elliott’s, I just freestyled the entire first verse and wrote it down when I got home. The rest was just building imagery and playing with dynamics.”
Dynamics are key in writing, of course, and especially so for The Salmonberries. The group is an amalgam of talented players, from six-string shredding to powerful rhythm pockets and rollicking vocal prowess. Funk swirls with a sprinkle of stadium rock and jam band capability.
The result rises from those pandemic ashes.
Check out the band’s new single below.
Photo courtesy The Salmonberries