“Self love, romantic love, and love for all of life. This song is for all of that,” says Ethan Gold about his all-purpose lovesong “Our Love Is Beautiful.” A winsome paean to positivity and the power of that singular emotion, Gold captures a breezy and absorbing melody and fashions it into a song that is part dainty Ben Folds and part Twist and Shout-era Beatles. Chimy and airy, the song taps into driving indie pop vein that has all the smiles, rainbows and unicorns that can be packed into a single four and a quarter minute song.
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While Gold’s words may seem a bit banal to the cynics of the world, there’s a good reason for his sentimentality. Aside from the obvious need for happy thoughts during the pandemic and isolating aloneness that accompanies social distancing, Gold has a lot to be thankful for. Having suffered a massive head injury in 2013, his road to recovery has been a long one but ultimately, it gave him a new outlook… one that focused more on sensitivity and appreciation rather than the snark and sarcasm that pervades common thought these days. “I believe in caring about ourselves, both as individuals, and as members of the human tribe,” he continues. “People should stop beating themselves up. And that means people who don’t feel beautiful, people who feel weak, people who feel their love is wrong.”
“Come here. I want to tell you something good, something nice before we wreck it again,” he sings with nary a sarcastic tone or smirk. He doesn’t just sing it. He means it. While most songwriters hope for chart positions or radio play, Gold shoots for a more intrinsic target. “Empowering sensitive people to be strong and joyful in their lives,” he replies. “Painting for angry and traumatized people a path into empathy and joy.” It’s a fundamental hope, one that’s as hippie and boho as possible (after all, his father is famous Beat poet Herbert Gold) but when pressured to offer a hope that’s a bit less lofty and granola, he adds, “touring the world doing all this with music… Post-pandemic, obviously.”
Recorded in “a wee town in California called Hollywood,” he laughs, he gathered musicians Dave Cobb, Darren Dodd, and Greg Lee and recorded the track live, and “then I added some bells and whistles. Not literally… there are no actual bells or whistles on the track, but if someone wants to make a bells-and-whistles-only cover, go for it.”
The accompanying video found Gold literally traveling the world and filming people from different cities and countries including Istanbul. Moscow, Mexico City, Mumbai, Addis Ababa, Helsinki as well as New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco lip-syncing his song. “I wanted to express global consciousness in a way that felt like a celebration,” he explains. “The video was made on an old iPhone, going on a round-the-world trip as I was recovering from a head injury. People around the world delivering the words of the song.”
Gold embodies an earnestness and an alacrity that is nearly absent from the pucker and pout pop songs or depressing and dour indie music that seems to dominate the music world of late. It’s a needed boost in the increasingly grim and bleak dystopia that seems to be gripping the future by the neck. “Our Love Is Beautiful” can be seen as a beacon of light to carry us through these rough times, but it has its practical purposes too. “For some people, this is a romantic song,” he says. “Strangers find me online to ask for the chords so they can sing it to their spouses when they get married. For some people, it’s an anthem about kinds of love that are suppressed, and it’s an anthem of pride.”
For Ethan Gold, though “Our Love Is Beautiful” carries a personal resonance. He concludes, “For me, it’s a love song for all of humanity, a call to live fully in our personal truth, and a call to get humanity off the precipice, through actually caring, even when nobody seems to think we should care about our own lives, or anybody else… This is a big call for global consciousness, delivered as simply as I can.”