Soaring vocals? Check. Screaming guitar solo? Check. Power-pop melodies that won’t leave your head? Triple check. Austin-based, Forever Starts Today has unveiled a video, filled with drama, to match their latest single: “Optimist.” This music video comes with the band’s announcement for their upcoming album, Always Hope, to be released on August 25 via Third String Records.
“Optimist” has generated high hopes for the upcoming album, especially considering the producing power of Joseph Milligan (Anberlin). The female-fronted quintet released their debut album Limitless in the spring of 2016, which opened the door for them to play alongside acts like The Ready Set, Myka Relocate, Jonny Craig, and Set It Off.
Don’t be fooled by the idealist name, the song’s lyrics tell a story that breaks hearts. We open on Nathan Dunn teasing a riff, ultimately giving way to the band’s powerful introduction. The video starts off in a playful way, showing us a group of young men as they run out to an old pickup truck. As the music thickens the screen transitions to another side of the story: the girl’s. At this point, something is obviously wrong, but it’s not quite clear what it is yet.
Christina Murphy’s vocals come hailing in, displaying both power and vulnerability within a couple of bars, offering a reminiscent sound of Cassadee Pope’s days in Hey Monday. “I can’t help you if you won’t help yourself” Murphy sings, giving away what a large part of the story is about. Typical relationship drama plays through the video; ignored phone calls, arguing, storming off. At some point the title almost seems to be a mere dream, hinting that the perfect relationship is far ahead of the couple. The two face more tribulations and it soon becomes clear that reality is a million miles away from that optimism.
Troy Hirschhorn throws down a tasty guitar lick just before the bridge, proving the group is more than just a few power chords. Similarly, Nick Turner shows off mad chops from behind the drum-set, grabbing attention with every fill. The video endorses the same surprising dynamic as the band, ending on a rather ominous note, showing the boy jumping from a building. At this point, an extended chorus hits and the wall of sound gives a sense of importance to the already stated chorus. The girl arrives just as the boy jumps, and desperately reaches her hand out to help. A few inches separate their fingers, leaving the couple miles apart emotionally and the audience in a state of confusion as to how it all ended.
The group is still young and has a promising amount of talent. With too many bands to count being introduced weekly, it’s become rather easy to get lost in the mix, leaving the quintet in a critical time-crunch to prove themselves. Always Hope is their chance to do just that. Stereotypical pop-punk themes follow the track, leading the assumption that the album will have similar lyrical content.
If the group can find a way to break out of generalized lyrics and song structures and instead utilize their musical endowment to the fullest quality, they would instantly break away and put themselves into a different league. It’s a well- produced track coming from a band that is well on their way to the major circuit.
Pop-punk is very much alive, and “Optimist” is here to attest to that.
Author: Saywer Click