Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. Gareth Inkster sounds like Ben Folds. I know it, you know it, Gareth knows it, hell, even Ben Folds knows it. The comparison isn’t lost on anyone. Gareth even uses Ben Folds as a hashtag on Soundcloud to catch fans of the singer songwriter. Gareth also has the fact that he’s a multi-instrumentalist in common with Ben, using ten different instruments on his new track, leaving only the drums and bass guitar to others. While Gareth has a lot in common with Ben, that’s not to say he can’t stand on his own, and Misfire proves just that.
Misfire is a deep, introspective look at depression. I usually take this time to go into the lyrics of the song and what it means, but Inkster provided information about his song that needed to be shared. This is an absolutely beautiful work of art.
“It was written during some difficult times, as the lyrics will certainly suggest. The introspection leads to a troubled confession, and eventually the desperate bridge, “is there something wrong with me? I don’t think so, but I don’t know.” after which there is an audible *crack* sound – the breaking point, if you will. After this, words are no longer sufficient, and the brass section does its thing, but before long even that doesn’t cut it, and there is an abrupt key-change, as the strings take over. The strings hit a diminished chord shortly before they end which I feel is the most painful part of the song. After the music has exhausted itself, there is a brief pause, and the lyrics return for one final, beaten verse. The verse lyric ends on an unresolved question, and likewise, on an unresolved chord.”
Seeing behind the veil of how a song was made usually leads to something along the lines of, “I wrote this line about a time in my life where x happened.” It rarely leads to, “I arranged the instrumentation to tell a story that can stand alone.”
Depression is a difficult subject to tackle, and Gareth does it from a place of deep understanding. So many songs try to engage the subject like it’s a cloudy day and frowny faces. While nothing is wrong with that, this is something that is moving on a different level for me. It gets into all of the feelings of inadequacy and the questions that come along with it.
Misfire is one of seven songs on Gareth’s upcoming EP, Last Year, and you can check out the same titled first single here.