In a day and age where most established rock and pop singers seem content to croon about reckless sexual escapades that render almost no realistic consequences and the abuse of drugs and money over an appreciation of living life itself, there have been only a few artists who have managed to break the trend and make a successful album, or even single, discussing anything other than the trivial and mundane. Jerad Finck is one of those precious few, and in collaboration with SEAWAVES, a remix of his song “New Kids” has been taking the pop world by storm and injecting serious dialogue into our cultural spectrum. Inspired by the anti-violence movement and Everytown.org, Finck displays a fearlessness that is unparalleled in “New Kids” and offers us a glimpse into how music can move mountains when its powers are used for good.
The SEAWAVES remix of “New Kids” doesn’t swing like a dance track, but its hard hitting drums start to suck us into their trance, I found myself completely powerless in resisting the urge to shake my body to the beat of this song. It takes a second for Finck and the instrumentation behind him to get warmed up, but once they do, it’s curtains for the dull silence that is occupying its path. I’ve always considered myself a pretty tough critic to please, but “New Kids” is so effortlessly original and divinely produced that after my initial listening session of this song in preparation for writing this review, I knew very well how important the track I had just heard really was.
Although he could have chosen any forward thinking organization to support in the name of “New Kids,” I really like that Jared Finck went with Everytown and the cause that they’re pushing. While politics is always a matter of opinion, one thing we can all agree on is that it’s nice to see some of the more fortunate members of our society giving back in a way that directly impacts the communities from which they got their first start. Finck is a thoughtful artist, and with the release of this song, he’s revealed himself to be a really decent person as well (which frankly isn’t something you can say about most performers of his stature).
This is an easy contender for best song of the year, and if Jared Finck’s brand recognition continues to keep the momentum that it’s got right now, it’s going to be pretty tough for his competition to keep the pace. I’m a big believer in the theory that when one artist sticks out above the rest, the artists beneath them tend to get a little bit edgier and spirited in their performances as a result, and I don’t doubt that Finck’s success with this song will produce the same ripple effect that we’ve seen in previous eras of social unrest in the art world. If you haven’t already done so, pick up a copy of “New Kids (SEAWAVES remix)” at the next possible opportunity – I think you’re going to enjoy what you hear.
Photo by Nicholas Alexander