- by Tom Dumarey
Silver Bars’ debut full-length ‘Center of the City Lights’ won't be out until Friday, but you can already listen to the whole thing right now while reading this track-by-track feature we did with vocalist/guitarist Paula J. Smith of the Austin-based dream-rock/shoegaze band.
Silver Bars’ music evokes atmospheric dream pop punctuated with explosive rock crescendos, bittersweet harmonies, and melodic swirls of delayed guitar underscored by resonant rhythms. The band recorded the album at Good Danny's studio in Lockhart, Texas and it will be released August 16, 2019 by indie record label Shifting Sounds (PRE-ORDER HERE) (photo credit: Nancy Pearsall)
'Pulse' is specifically about the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL in 2016. It's also generally about the families and communities we must make for ourselves in a world where people feel more and more isolated and yearn for deeper connections.
'Lost You to LA'
'Lost You to LA' is about giving up on the idealization of a person and/or a place. It's also about the disconnection between people, generally, and specifically when those two people are feeling themselves fall out of love.
'Last Crash Landing'
'Last Crash Landing' is a song about how we talk ourselves through change. What do we do when things don't work out as we planned?
'Marching Song' has some very personal meanings to me, but it's very generally about how we find our way from darkness to light, even when the world feels really dark. It's also in keeping with the record's overall themes of trying to find connection.
'Green Trees' is about reminiscing about childhood and the shelter of innocence.
'Emergency' is probably the most obviously spiritual lyrics I've ever written. If one is an agnostic or atheist, how do we grapple and come to grips with our purpose? Can someone feel a spiritual connection even if they don't believe in God?
'Put on Your Face'
'Put on Your Face' is specifically about a character from a novel. It's also generally about the "faces" we "put on" in order to navigate the world. Those "masks" can take a toll, but in what form? If we lie about ourselves to other people do we become the lie?
'Slowly But Surely'
'Slowly But Surely' is as close as the album comes to having a love song. It’s about talking yourself in and out of contentment when you trust the person you are with, but you’re not so sure you trust yourself. In addition, it’s about how impermanence of life makes love and bonding both essential and terrifying.
This one is both about a movie, and also deeply personal. As is clear from the title, it’s also about spiritual questioning and questioning various kinds of faith.
This song is about self-talk—all the little messages we send back and forth to ourselves. Doubt/longing/contentment/questioning, etc.