Ferris & Sylvester Contemplate The “What Ifs” in New Single “I Should Be On A Train”

Given the topsy turvy nature of this year, one might be hard pressed to find pleasure in imagining the free roaming fun of a world without social distance, face masks, and travel restrictions, seeing as what so many want isn’t necessarily what’s feasible right now. Nevertheless, the duo of Ferris & Sylvester – full names Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester – are out to help the music loving public embrace just that: thoughts of what could and even should have been, via their new single, “I Should Be On A Train.”

Videos by American Songwriter

Today American Songwriter is premiering the new song and video ahead of Ferris & Sylvester’s forthcoming EP of the same name, which will be released on 2 October 2020.

Those going into this announcement bracing for a new song about the “what ifs” of various things everyone planned to do during the summer of 2020 need not anticipate a track full of real-time regrets. While Ferris & Sylvester are musing over uncertain decisions and accompanying emotional vacillation with some distant travel in their peripheral considerations, collectively, the story sewn into this song exists within in the larger context of a rocky relationship, rather than tenuous public life with a disease.

I should be on a train
I should be on a train
Head out and maybe wait
to hear you screaming out my name
oh but you won’t beg me to stay
I should be on a train

“This was the first song we wrote and produced in lockdown in our studio, and we love how it turned out,” said Ferris & Sylvester. “We wanted to tell a story and every decision on the music, lyrics and production was made with that at the centre. We’ve been working a lot on how to push ourselves into new territories, taking the song on a journey – we had Issy almost whispering the verses, so soft it could be a voice in her head, then we’re both going for it in the chorus, as if we’re singing it to each other. We had the acoustic guitar softly and expressively playing around the beat in the verse, then switching it up to an electric, laying it down straight and bold in the chorus. We really hope our fans enjoy the song’s journey.”

Indeed, the pair present this up and down dynamic with performative ferocity. Ferris’s offers wispy and delicate vocals during the brief considerations of leaving in the verses, before Sylvester joins in to create an abruptly more vocally bold, unison chorus – further bolstered by thick toned, slightly distorted, down beat-focused electric guitar chords – where the couple unambiguously declare they “can’t stand your love.” This contrast being presented not only sonically but sectionally as well, really drives home the crudely oscillating energy of the song as a whole.

While at times there are some frankly, disquieting relationship dynamics at play, (Maybe we should slow down / Before you go and knock me out), the momentary emotional extreme could be chalked up to hyperbole more than a sustained implication of literal dysfunction such as that in “Kiss with a Fist” by Florence + the Machine.

Certainly frustration with the present state of live music would drive any artist to the levels of intermittent furor and impatience heard throughout “I Should Be On A Train.” But unlike the bursts of vexation frozen forever in the duo’s performance, Ferris & Sylvester are nothing if not hopeful for the future and feeling accomplished with this project, in spite of the many changes and setbacks to their own list of should have’s that were set for this year.

“For so many artists, this year has turned a lot of plans right on their head. At the end of last year, we finished recording our first album and had hoped to release it this summer but, decided to hold off and concentrate on writing for future projects during lockdown. But that didn’t feel right. Why not put this out now? This (song and the EP) holds great significance to us in this moment in time, and so it only felt right to get it out there. The world is changing and we’re determined to adapt with it and give what we can,” said Ferris & Sylvester.

If you dig what you hear, consider a pre-save/pre-order at this smartlink.

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