Song Review: Ian Shortall – “Get Back On The Saddle”

“Get Back On The Saddle” by Ian Shortall is a haunting journey through the rigors of life, elegantly blending the darker and moody textures of alt-country with the rich storytelling tradition of classic Americana. Ian’s voice carries the weight of each verse, singing tales of love, loss, and resilience, echoing the sentiments of country music stalwarts such as Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. The song manages to pay homage to its illustrious predecessors while still carving out a space that is distinctly Shortall’s.

Melbourne’s Ian Shortall is no stranger to hardships, as is evident in the song’s deeply personal lyrics. The very essence of human struggle is encapsulated in the recurring theme of falling and getting back up again, as life’s adversities are compared to the challenge of staying atop a bucking horse. Ian’s Dublin roots, infused with memories of Whelan’s Bar and the city’s vibrant music scene, meld effortlessly with his experiences in the southern hemisphere, resulting in a track that’s deeply introspective yet universally relatable.

The lyrics of “Get Back On The Saddle” serve as an anchor, grounding listeners in the raw emotions of heartbreak, perseverance, and acceptance. The story of young love lost to friendship, of a family tragically taken by the Spanish flu, and the poignant reflection of an older man looking back at his life, all resonate with a sense of authenticity. The haunting chorus, “Get back on the saddle and ride the headwind,” serves as a reminder of life’s cyclical nature, urging the listener to push forward even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds.

As the track progresses, the subtle hints of metal imagery, reflecting Ian’s eclectic influences, become more prominent, weaving a rich tapestry of emotions and adding depth to the narrative. The subtle, mournful wails of “Hoooo HooooHoooo Hooo” at the end of each chorus underline the song’s melancholic atmosphere, a fitting accompaniment to the tales of sorrow and loss that Ian shares.

In “Get Back On The Saddle,” Ian Shortall has created a poignant testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The song serves as a stark reminder of life’s fleeting moments, urging us to rise, dust ourselves off, and ride headfirst into the wind, no matter the hardships we face. As we eagerly await Ian’s debut album, this track stands as a beacon of his songwriting prowess and ability to connect with listeners on a profound level.

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