Over the lockdown I’ve found myself turning to two types of music time and time again; loud, raw, raucous rock that can take me to oblivion, and more contemplative, richer songs that take me mentally to another place or make me think.
‘Take What’s Given’ falls into the second of these two. It takes as its theme something that is very applicable to our currently locked down lives, but – and this crucial – can be applied to many other situations we find ourselves in. The band explain ‘Take What’s Given addresses solitude and mortality. Written during a period living alone, it’s main themes are the sense of impending doom that time can inflict, how that can make the ordinary seem extraordinary, and how companionship could be the solution. The refrain ‘take what’s given’ is a way of expressing the necessity to take each day as it comes’.
So that’s what the song is about, what does it sound like? Well it’s actually quite a lot in that Laurel Canyon singer/songwriter style – acoustic guitar, lovely touches of organ. Think Crosby, Stills and Nash, but just with the one voice. And it’s light, this track says as much in the spaces as it does in the sounds. Musically it feels like being in your favourite cosy place. It’s calming, it makes you feel peaceful.
And given the lightness of the music, the vocals and the words are upfront. The vocals are a thing of joy. And the words are fantastic – meaningful, demanding closer listening but at the same time wonderfully singalong; these words are oh so catchy.
The thing I love about this is that it’s timeless; it could quite easily have been released in the late 60s, early 70s, and at any time right up until now. And into the future, music like this doesn’t age.
This is a lovely song, a really lovely song. Musically it’s fantastic, lyrically it’s going to make you think. Who needs anything more?
Recorded during a break in the national lockdowns, ‘Take What’s Given’ sees Oh Papa return to Tesla Studios with frequent collaborator David Glover, featuring additional Hammond organ from Bennett Holland.