When listening to a band for the first time, it’s endearing to come to the realization that the music one hears projects a first impression far different than what one might have been perceived if the group’s credentials on paper had been viewed first.
Multi-state folk roots band, Two Bird Stone (Liam Thomas Bailey, vocals, banjo, fiddle; Chad Kelly accordion; Judd Fuller, bass; Rohin Khemani, drums) certainly come to the table with this kind of fork-in-the-road presentation. On the one hand, the new quartet comes together with a slew of accolades in performance, supporting musician roles, widespread touring, and impactful composition. On the other, Two Bird Stone presents a new song that, as opposed to the star-studded iconography of the band’s collective resume, comes across innocent and emotionally warming as a someone who wears their heart on their sleeve.
Premiering today on American Songwriter, “When Somebody Can See Your Soul” is the latest single from Two Bird Stone’s forthcoming debut LP, Hands and Knees, which is set to arrive on September 11, 2020 via Soundly Music.
Generally speaking, the foursome doesn’t aim to overpower with “When Somebody Can See Your Soul.” Nowhere in the song does Two Bird Stone bring together its dynamic potential – something not to be underestimated simply based on the band’s folk-oriented genre and arrangement – to deliver the loudest or densest burst of chords possible (think The Lumineers going full steam ahead). The band’s collective sound even holds back not even during the chorus, when a dynamic apex would be understandable. Instead, the primarily string-powered group allows for space between their instruments, as well as between the individually plucked and bowed notes of their own parts. This gives the music a somewhat stripped down feeling, even with the inclusion of bass and drums. Additionally, there’s something to be said for the implication of openness and vulnerability that accompanies this approach to the instrumental side of the song.
“When Somebody Can See Your Soul” touches on the universal theme of love in a song. However, it more specifically is a track meant to celebrate the intangible but very relatable comforting sense someone gets when meeting another person of yet-to-be-known importance in their lives.
“There is a deep and beautiful mystery in a soul’s ability to recognize another in an instant. While ‘When Somebody Can See Your Soul’ tells a familiar romantic story in line with the concept of ‘love at first sight,’ the spirit of the song suggests that this phenomenon is platonic as well,“ says Bailey
Despite some of the lyrics outlining cliché interactions in the verses (She met his gaze, that’s all it took / and he put her number in his little book), other words and approaches to description – the title excels in this regard – give the song’s message a more prominent feeling of seriousness and maturity about the connection being made. That paired with the appealing dance of tonal contrast between parts like Bailey’s twinkling banjo and Kelly’s flourishing accordion lets the song sway between sounding like a musical idea striving to be both casually off-the-cuff and elegantly sophisticated.
You can feel it yeah
when it’s someone that you think you should know
You can feel it yeah
when somebody can see your soul