If WALLS Could Talk!
Foreword By Erin Wakefield (my best friend for every life we have):
I want you to close your eyes.
Close your eyes and imagine a world where the love of your life marries someone else. Then imagine that you see your soul mate’s spouse out in public, at a bar. What do you do? Get real? Tell him/her that they have your life and it isn’t fair? Or go the classy route, nod, smile, and move on.
This is the world Erika Anne Lindsey was living in July of 2014 while at a bar watching the World Cup in New York. There Lily Aldridge sat with some friends, having a drink. Erika had a decision to make, tell Lily the truth about the future – that Erika and Caleb were going to be together, or let the moment pass and wait for destiny to do its work. The first option would only upset Lily and Caleb by proxy. Erika could never hurt Caleb, so she did what only a person TRULY in love would do, she took a deep breath and acted as if this were just another day, in just another bar, filled with just another group of people.
Thank you, Erin. I humbly accept your declaration that I’m the best person in the world. But enough about me, let’s discuss my bottom bro Caleb and his familial crew of southern badasses with humor and guitar pickin’ skills.
The idea behind her foreword was to lay the base of my 12 year relationship with Kings of Leon (not to display an usual attraction to a lead singer, Lily ❤ Caleb 4 eva). I may not have always dug a direction and many times grit my teeth against cancelled shows…literally anytime I got pit tix **weeps openly**…my love for them stuck stubbornly in place. Sure, there are some albums I don’t listen to, but from the moment I heard Taper Jean Girl, from the first tingle of Red Morning Light, from being challenged to sing Joe’s Head in total off the cuff (and in a Caleb voice for extra points), from screeching Trani anytime I can, from the eye rolls of friends because they really thought I’d get over this band by now (no fucking chance)…
These guys are my soul. They marked the sound of my first adult adventure and relocation, from Texas to New York at 18. They matched my steps to class, to work, in my dead sprint to catch a subway. They blared from my dorm room, people told other students they could find me by the sound of Milk coming from behind my door. This is not just a band, this is the band that I have grown with.
And the growing pains were well worth it with the release of WALLS.
The slender, choppy, southern grit of a boy finding music has broadened into a man that can take his time, to be a Waste A Moment crooner.
I have felt a lot of things listening to their albums, certain songs dredge up that feel 19 feeling, the parties that went too late, the angst of feeling like I don’t belong, hell… even that fight with religion. Their lyrics blanket huge aspects of my life and no matter how long I listen, that’ll never change.
But with songs like WALLS, Muchacho… a new dynamic has emerged, from finding your groove (and yourself) to losing someone you love (shout out to making me cry on the subway, bros). I can’t write anymore about Muchacho without crying more, but hands down my favorite song on the album.
The singles, Around the World and Waste A Moment, are not only prime for radio but have that flare of quirk that’s easy to catch in their rapport with each other, with a shout to the imagination it takes to survive southern summers in the woods as kids (curated by an adult).
I was insanely pleased to catch lil throwbacks in songs like Eyes on You, with the melody so on point for 90’s country during “If you don’t like it, then try it.” that I immediately became a heart eyes emoji for my Texas youth. And on the other side of that coin, sits Over with a lower croon mirroring the gloom of a 90’s pop rock song.
All in all, this album is as perfectly coiffed and quirky as the branding that went into it. They’ve had many jams but I think it’s safe to say they grew into one awesome groove.
But if I could just address the band themselves for a moment:
Boys… I could say mouths more of my love for this album. YOUR album. YOUR band. I know the likelihood of you seeing this is slim, but thank you. Thank you for pushing through and allowing me to grow up with you. Thank you for the deaf cab rides back to my apartment after your shows. Thank you for the music that has become the constant vibration in my head and heart.
I know it’s sappy, but your music is “my favorite friend of all.”
Love you, dudes.