“Put me on the sideline,” a tired tenor voice resignedly sighs. A single phrase completely encapsulates Alec Mora’s latest single, “sideline”. By reflecting on a situation where he was pushed aside, he sifts through the discomfort of the change while accepting it as his path to moving forward.
From the opening bars, “sideline” creates a contemplative, melancholy atmosphere. The resonating lo-fi-inspired harmony harkens back to his early musical career but elevated beyond typical study beats tracks.
The harmonic progression, played on soft, resonant keys, inverts the expected standard lo-fi chords by removing the dominant, or for that matter, any triad with a leading tone. Even the surprising diminished second chord jumps out, creating a dissonance that pulls the listener deeper into enduring acceptance of a situation outside our control.
“I can’t even keep the score,” admits Alec Mora and FrenchW while a mute brass countermelody floats just below the lyrics. Every part of this piece conveys a lonely recognition. From the minimal harmony to the short duration to the lyrics always nearly competing with the piano and brass melodies, isolation takes hold. But it’s in those moments we consider our path forward.
Stream “sideline” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.