Later this week, Beat Radio—the indie rock project of New York singer-songwriter Brian Sendrowitz—will release “We Rise From Fire,” a scrappy quarantine cut that shows Sendrowitz looking for transcendence.
“It was a summer / to start anew / there were so many changes we were going through,” he sings in the track, which premieres below. “It took so long / for me to see / That I was nothing like the man I hoped to be.”
“I wrote a bunch of songs really fast in the early months of quarantine,” Sendrowitz tells American Songwriter over email, adding that the state he was in “felt like … a fever dream.”
“This is a song about relationships, being pushed to the limit, and fighting to transcend,” he continues. “I had the guitar riff kicking around, put the lyrics together over shitty Logic Pro fake drums and sent the demo to my friend Phil Jimenez, who has been a really important figure in the history of this band. Phil and his wife Kathryn Froggatt turned the rough sketch of a track into this amazing production. It felt alive. They did the same for our other recent single ‘Real Love.’ Collaborating on songs with friends in this way over the course of this year has been really amazing. It’s a little bit of magic and light in a dark time.”
The final product—produced and mixed by Jiminez—opens with pent-up guitar and croaked vocals, then builds into something more thrashing and unruly in the second half. It’s tighter and more aggressive than “Real Love,” which shows the band working in a more tender, twangy mode.
A playlist of inspirations for “We Rise From Fire,” available on Spotify, includes The Tragically Hip’s “My Music at Work,” Waxahatchee’s “Misery Over Dispute,” and Ben Seratan’s “Am I Doing This Right?” as well as tracks by Los Campesinos!, Fountains of Wayne, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Frightened Rabbit, and others. The songs share a nervy, searching energy and lots of guitar texture.
Sendrowitz has long drawn inspiration from this lineage of indie rock. His “We Rise From Fire” playlist also features songs by The Weakerthans, The Replacements, and The Diggs, all of whom appeared on another playlist he shared back in 2009.
“We played our first show in June of 2005,” he told an interviewer at the time, discussing Beat Radio’s origins. “I’d made a bunch of 4 track demos of some songs I’d written really quickly in the month or so before, sort of in a flash of inspiration. It felt like a departure from the music I had made before, which was more acoustic-based singer-songwriter material. I got together the best musicians I knew to start playing live shows. Since then the lineup has changed a few times and it’s gone back and forth between being a band and a solo project in varying degrees.” Over a decade later, that’s still the case.
“We Rise From Fire” and “Real Love” come after Beat Radio’s 2019 EP Everyone I Know, Just Holding On. Sendrowitz is currently at work on the band’s sixth album, which is slated for release in 2021 and follows 2016’s Take It Forever, 2013’s Hard Times, Go!, 2011’s Golden Age, 2009’s Safe Inside the Sound, and 2007’s The Great Big Sea. Beat Radio has also released a handful of other singles and EPs over the years. Most recently they re-released “Invisible Cities,” their 2015 split single with Kids in the Attic.
“We Rise From Fire” is out November 13 via Awkward For Life Records.