Editor’s note: This Friday, instead of flashing back, we’re sinking deep into our feelings with the very first “Friday Feels,” a new series envisioned by intern Mia Ashby.
In the wake of hardship, there’s always a way out. That simple notion is the central motif of Manchester Orchestra’s musical masterpiece, “The Way.” The song was initially written as a single but found its way onto Manchester Orchestra’s most recent EP The Valley of Vision, released on March 10th. Manchester Orchestra’s brand of music differs from many others in their genre umbrella. While their music could be classified as “alternative” or “indie-rock,” I’d like to coin another term for them, something that classifies just how their music connects to their audience: their songs are spiritual. They are auditory stories that flow through listeners and wrap tightly around their hearts. They aren’t simply motivational, either. It’s not purely music that repeats surface-level daily affirmations, it runs much deeper than that. Their music is meant to make you feel accepted and allow you to feel comforted knowing that how you feel is justified. It’s okay to feel like the world is overwhelming, and “The Way” is the hammer to tear down those walls that say otherwise.
This isn’t simply a song in your playlist. “The Way” is like listening to a novel with enchanting melodies and intoxicating vocals. Its smooth, rhythmic beat is comforting, like a slow heartbeat. The gentle but powerful vocals blend with the song’s steady crescendo and encouraging lyrics to rise into a final eruption of musical bliss, where the song relays its message: even if you lose yourself, if you’ve been fighting to get back, it’s okay to start again and take time to find your way. This song is an auditory letter from the band, a nudge on the shoulder to tell you that “love is never optional,” and it’s “vital to find the anecdote” so that you “can start again” and live the way you want to.
It’s no secret that the world has been hard on us these last few years, there have been crises, disease, and hardships in almost everyone’s lives. It’s not a permanent fix, but to me, this song is a pick-me-up, an “I know how it feels” that helps me remember that it’s okay to be down, but at the same time to not let it consume me. Even if you don’t typically or haven’t yet listened to Manchester Orchestra, I highly recommend giving this song a chance. This song is more of an experience than just something to put on in the background. It’s like a motivational quote in song form. Maybe like me, it’ll get you through some really difficult times, or at least it’ll get you to check out a cool new band that deserves more praise than they receive.
If you are an avid listener or you simply haven’t had the chance yet to see them live, Manchester Orchestra will be in Columbus at KEMBA Live! on August 19, so be sure to book tickets now so you can see them perform “The Way” and their other masterful songs live.
Mia Ashby is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. She’s very invested in film and loves to write about anything in the film/music genre. She has a knack for poetry and dreams of publishing her own psychological horror novel. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not necessarily reflect those of the station. Do you agree? Tell Mia by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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