I can’t attest to being overly-invested in lofi or experimental music. Perhaps back in my university days when wading in a pool at a rave, but since then I haven’t been the biggest fan. I prefer my music to either have some sort of rock edge or a mushy pop feeling, but never really lofi. Of course, this was before I took some time out to listen to Free Country‘s latest track ‘Narcan Summer’.
Jason Ribadeneyra, also known as Free Country, followed that societal stereotype of growing up and leaving home to pursue his own dreams. Now, when a person returns home they either do so with indifference or affection – it really depends why they left in the first place. In many cases, people become sentimental and like to dwell on both the good and the bad. ‘Narcan Summer’ is Free Country’s expansion on the more personal side of things.
Finding himself back in West Massachusetts, Jason rather hastily composed a track dealing with loss and redemption. Recalling the summer when his hometown was flooded with Fentanyl, Jason discusses the pain of losing family and friends to substance overdoses. While he shares the tragedy of brother’s death in simple, steady vocals, the undertone is a guilt-ridden one where he has to deal with having survived. Despite having a constant rhythm, the track is a little frenzied and uncontrollable.
What I find extremely heartwarming is the artwork for ‘Narcan Summer’. A faded picture of two young brothers trying to be badass. Amusing as an image, but when you consider the concept of the single it has a deeper meaning. Cute kids but, as with the track itself, it incites those raw emotions we keep deep down and try to avoid.
So, what do I really think about ‘Narcan Summer’? If I had to describe it in one word that would be ‘haunting’. Free Country has found a way to implant himself and his music in your brain, even if you don’t want him there. Painful but extremely passionate, this track will be featured on my personal playlist. It might be the only lofi track there, but does that really matter at the end of the day?