Song to get you through the week: ‘Fourth Wall’
By Victor D. Infante (via telegram.com)
“The fourth wall has been broken,” sings Craig Rawding on Worcester band the Curtis Mayflower’s new single, “Fourth Wall,” “and I’m speaking straight to you.”
For those who only dimly recall their high school English lessons, the fourth wall is the imaginary divide between the characters in a story and the audience. “Breaking the fourth wall” means, as Rawding intimates, that the characters are interacting directly to the audience. Take Shakespeare’s soliloquies, for instance, Or Zack shouting “time out!” on “Saved by the Bell.”
“But if you listen closely,” continues Rawding, “you’ll know I’ve known your pain.”
On a very fundamental level, this is a song about our relationship with art, particularly music. In a lot of ways, Rawding’s voice is a comforting presence: Music’s there to keep you from feeling alone. Totally been there.
But it’s categorically not a comforting song. Pete Aleksi’s guitar rips way from the confines of Jeremy Curtis’ bass and Duncan Arsenault’s drums, with Brooks Milgate’s keyboard adding a modern, mechanized tone that works in counterpoint to Rawding’s soulful vocals. Everything lands in a dizzy, anxiety-inducing dissonance.
Is our relationship with music unhealthy, sometimes? Perhaps. There’s certainly something sinister in Rawding’s voice as the song unfolds.
“Can you feel my tongue,” he sings, “planted firmly in your cheek/ or did I lose you long ago/ when I began to speak?”
Who are we hearing in the song, the singer or simply an echo of our own voice. Listening to this song repeatedly doesn’t bring any answers, but the question becomes more and more haunting each time.