Southey - I Know The Way

February 20, 2024

Since I stumbled upon Thomas Southey back in the summer of 2021 with "Run River", I've clocked in countless hours with his music, streaming his folk vibes and watching him delight in satisfying his fans on Twitch. Yep, this Aussie artist belongs to that young breed who couldn't care less about "dropping a single" or "releasing an album". Recorded music becomes a little bonus for the fans, with the priority being the authenticity of connections forged through regular livestreams and an extensive repertoire of songs that might never see the light of day but are known by heart only to the truest fans. This kind of micro-community isn't a one-off thing. It's not the norm either, but it's a new way for some artists to flip the bird at record labels. And when we see what streaming financially brings to artists, we wholeheartedly agree and happily march behind them with banners! The times they are a-changin', and thank goodness for that!

In 2024, if you have to skip intros to save time and have a catchy chorus in under 30 seconds to please an algorithm, Southey and these rebellious artists are tearing down the norms of their generation and continuing to make music "the old-fashioned way." Yes, like the music I grew up with in the '90s, where it wasn't uncommon for intros to last a minute and 4 or 5-minute songs to grace the radio waves.

So, "I Know The Way" marks Southey's 4th single in nearly 3 years. Needless to say, each release is an event, and we know the quality will be there. The artist takes the time to set up his world, his atmosphere, with a 52-second intro. Yes, you read that right. Almost a minute to set the stage.

The acoustic guitar deliberately takes center stage in "I Know The Way." The ambiance is folk, almost epic, and the vocals merely lightly dress a beautiful musical cradle, with a well-crafted construction that reaches a beautiful climax, sending shivers down your spine. The instrumental parts guide the curious listener eager for new sensations, and the voice then becomes almost incidental. I say almost because the message it carries is quite powerful.

We were talking about the struggle of artists in the wonderful world (insert sarcasm here) of streaming, where it takes about a million streams to recoup your studio session costs and start making some money. We kind of feel that struggle in the lyrics, as if Southey is talking to a fellow musician: "Stand here / Make sure you don't lose your place, dear / Wait in the line till the coast's clear / When I say so we run for the door."

Above all, Southey wanted to deliver a message of hope and guidance to the listener, as he explains:

"I wanted to capture the feeling of finding direction in uncertain times. This song is about offering a hand to those who might need it".

So, was this double entendre in the lyrics intentional? No idea. But it's brilliant nonetheless. Just like the structure of "I Know The Way" itself, which shatters all the well-established rules of the "intro, verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus" formula. No, "I Know The Way" rebels, with an atypical structure that sometimes lets the vocals quiet down to make room for each instrument to shine. No identifiable chorus, no markers, just a unique musical experience lasting a little over 4 minutes and 30 seconds that leaves us with an irresistible urge to hit replay.

When we mentioned earlier in the article that the times are changing, here's more proof. Artists used to name-drop big inspirations. Now, artists with similar levels of fame inspire each other, like a group of friends. For example, among his influences, Southey mentions Hazlett, a member of the IMC Family. This new generation of artists, humble, close to their audience, and daring to say no to the temptation of being pigeonholed constantly, is very inspiring. And they have every right to be on our website. We need more honesty and naturalness. So, let's treat ourselves and savor this acoustic take that Southey did, dipping his feet in a lake with cicadas as his choir:

If you want to discover more indie artists from Australia, feel free to check out the Australia section of our artist directory.

Reach out to Southey

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