Music pairs well with so many situations. A raucous party playlist. The freedom in a good driving song. The intensity of a personal workout mix.
But what exactly makes a song work in a specific instance?
Ryan Lammers of August Hotel pondered that after a conversation on a train ride with the band’s drummer Dean Sinclair.
“Train Song,” the second single from the band’s upcoming four-song “Stations” EP, answers that query.
“Drawing on the idea thematically, it’s like when you’re on a train and you’re surrounded by all these people that you don’t know and probably will never see again. But you’re having this shared moment in life,” he said. “I wonder how many people you could have been friends with or something if you had gotten to know them. But instead you’re just two passengers on the train.”
Sharing an energy similar to Bloc Party’s “I Still Remember,” “Train Song” is alive with a buoyant, kinetic drive courtesy of musicians Lammers, Sinclair, Cale Singleton and Craig Schwartz Jr. But like the Bloc Party song, the lyrics lean into the bittersweet beauty of imagined (and missed) connections, lifted through Jo Padilla’s plaintive, emotive vocals.
“Whenever I’m alone too long
I imagine the life that we’d have
If only you and I could be best friends.
And it changes the way I see myself.
I’m just a reflection of everybody else.”
While “Train Song” premieres exclusively here today, August Hotel will be celebrating by hosting a virtual listening party at 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, on the band’s Facebook page. Fans can listen to “Train Song” and “Disaster & Delight” along with the band, followed by discussions and a Q&A.
The livestream replaces the canceled Out of Context Productions benefit show for The Trevor Project, a 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. Originally set for Friday at Subterranean, COVID-19 fears halted the live performance, but the band decided to move the show online.
“This is something that we all really care about and that we wanted to support, especially now,” Padilla said.
“As this crisis has come into effect, a lot of transgender people are working-class people who need access to rental assistance, food assistance and such. And in times of crisis, these wealth gaps spike even more,” they added. “So I think it’s even more critical now to support the most vulnerable populations in our world.”
To honor International Transgender Day of Visibility this month, The Trevor Project will receive 50% of any donations made Friday. The rest will help defray the final costs of the EP release. Donations can be made at IndieGoGo.com.