June 15, 2021 | Writer: Eric Reyes
The once-in-a-lifetime events of the Covid-19 pandemic, the isolation, the feeling that the entire world hit pause, has proven fertile grounds for artists. Instead of glossing over the events and speaking in broad platitudes, Ian Biggs opens his latest release, ‘If You Still Believe’ with a direct reference to the life-altering effect quarantine has had on people’s lives, their relationships, their mindsets.
Listed as Alternative Rock, this is another example of the mismatched labeling in the music industry. While the track definitely has the hallmarks of modern Pop-Rock instrumentally, it has a softer edge to it that puts it apart from the usual fare of the Alt genre.
Ian Biggs has a strong, clear voice that forms the heart and soul of the track. His performance is the core of the song’s identity, and pulls together the sound as a whole. He’s allowing himself to occupy the space created by the lyrics, in that he’s not reading words off a sheet to be arranged to catchy corporate ‘Butt-Rock’; the lyrical content is a state of mind and a personal experience that he is feeling and imparting to us, the audience. I talk a lot about the kind of boring generic ersatz emotion that we are spoon fed by labels, filler meant to stretch out an album or catalog, make seem fuller, more fulfilling, than it really is. Ian Biggs feels what he’s imparting to us. We’re the faceless, shapeless ‘baby’ addressed by the track, someone clear in the mind of the artist but who is an analog we’re allowed to assume so that we’re able to feel the impact of the message.
This is where my tag of Pop-Rock comes into play, on the side of the backing instrumentals at least, as their main job is to do just that, back the performer. They’re straightforward, a rock guitar performance that drifts towards country but has a bit of blues to it as well, ceding the stage to an acoustic that entwines it with Ian Bigg’s more impassioned vocalizations.
There’s plenty to like here, so don’t miss out and listen in today.