Chris Jones & The Flycatchers: In The Throes
“...and into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul…”
This quote is attributed to arguably the most influential naturalist in United States history, John Muir. When I heard the song, “In the Throes,” and saw the cover art for the second single to be released by Chris Jones and The Flycatchers, those were the first words that came crashing into my mind. At first glance, you see a black and white profile picture of Chris, looking down pensively with what appears to be a smoky effect background. On a closer look, you can see there is actually a forest coming out of Chris’ head. I’m sure it can be looked at in many ways, but that was my initial image/lyrics connection… and after talking to Chris about the song, I’m sticking with my interpretation- not that it is the right one, or the only way to view it. This is just my way of making sense of this interplay of art, music and nature.
When Chris and I spoke about his song, he said it came to him at a time when he was at a crossroads. He had taken time off of work and was trying to figure out how he was going to change into the direction he was meant to go. That is a relatable scenario to many, I’m sure! He always knew he wanted to play music, but the idea seemed to be getting more distant and confusing to him as each year passed. One morning, he got up early and just told himself he needed to finish something. He just needed to accomplish one thing that day with his writing. Because he wasn’t having much luck with anything new, he decided to take a shot at finishing a song he had started a year prior. At that moment, everything just seemed to click. He finished the song and was on such a creative and reflective high that he just rolled right into writing a new one. That song, written in about an hour, became “In the Throes.” Feeling that measure of success was the fire he needed. Chris knew from that moment on that he was moving in the direction he knew had to go professionally. This song means so much to him because it was, and still is, the one thing that can pull him out of his own self-doubt. He hopes everyone else can be inspired by it the same way he is. It only took me one listen through, and wow, I certainly am!
I’ve heard two songs so far from the upcoming album, and just from those two, I can say that Chris has been truly masterful with his lyrical expression. He creates powerful pictures through his words, and the way they are woven together and combined with the bassline from Brandon Aguilar, drumbeat from Andrew Dolman, and perfectly timed guitar crescendo from Isaac Stalling completely match the emotion of the song. The story is one that I can visualize from beginning to end. It starts with him staring at a bottle, alone. His friends can’t relate to his feelings of needing to move on, and how he is going to get beyond being stuck in a place where he isn’t doing what he feels he is meant to do, “I’ve got friends but they can’t hear me scream through this glass…” He describes all of the ways he is feeling tied down, and again, the imagery is perfect to match the tone of the song. “Like a ten mile tank with fifty to go, I’m running out of gas before the end of the road… It’s like I’m tied to a chair at an open door...I’m fighting harder than I have before.” Indeed, Chris, I can feel it through the whole song: the fight, the self-doubt, the inspiration that if you keep fighting you will make it happen. I listened to it four times in a row without a break so I could really hear what he is saying. Again...Wow.
So as I return to the John Muir quote, I feel the forest represents where Chris wants to go with his art, but he needs to lose everything in his mind: the self-doubt, anxiety, etc… so that he can find his soul: the music he creates. Following up the autobiographical first single, “College Dropout,” Chris Jones has written another fantastic song that needs to be added to your playlist right now. “In the Throes” has inspired me, and will just have to satisfy my desire to hear the full album as we all wait, not so patiently, for it to be released!
Listen to “In The Throes” on Spotify:
Follow and Like Chris Jones & The Flycatchers:
Album cover art courtesy of Cameron Gillespie:
Photos courtesy of Sierra Kovash: