Fan input plus Snow Patrol's talent equals a beautifully quiet, peaceful, and hopeful collection of songs.
We’ve heard a lot of lockdown music throughout the coronavirus pandemic, whether in the form of songs about lockdown, songs written and released during lockdown, or livestreams that have brought fans and artists closer together. However, Gary Lightbody and Snow Patrol took this one step further by providing weekly Instagram songwriting sessions on a Saturday, and in the process wrote an entire EP with the help of thousands of fans, from the chords and melody to the name and artwork – and the result is phenomenal.
There’s a real spirit of teamwork in these songs, and although the pandemic isn’t explicitly mentioned, the overarching themes of hope and togetherness really shine through. In each of the songs, the songwriters have managed to capture all the emotions and the ups and downs of this time, and yet have managed to create something that leaves you feeling really uplifted.
‘Reaching Out To You’ captures the whole idea of this being a really strange time, ending on the lyrics ‘Through these deranged horizons/ I’m still reaching out to you’. Considering it was done from home, the production on it is brilliant and sounds like Snow Patrol at their best. ‘On The Edge Of All This’ comes next, and with a gorgeous soaring chorus with stunning backing vocals it’s perhaps the highlight of the EP. ‘The Curve Of Earth’ is very chilled out, with a dreamy, almost-ethereal chorus reminiscent of the style often used on the band’s recent Reworked album.
Although this is very distinctly Snow Patrol, it is amazing to think the lyrics were largely written by fans, and they are arguably at their best on ‘Come Dance With Me’: ”Come dance with me, even though we’re miles apart […] We’ll ride this storm out in this quiet isolation/ But the math, it can’t explain our love”. The folky sound which resonates throughout the EP is rounded out by ‘Light Years’, which juggles with the mixed emotions of missing normality and yet enjoying the newfound silence: ”You could be two meters away from me/But it seems light years sometimes, dear/ But even distant, I’m with you / But the sun shines brighter now, the skies are empty/ And the loudest bird songs fill us up again”.
Overall, this EP is an absolute triumph, and everybody involved should be so proud of themselves for creating such a work of art. The best part of it all is that all proceeds go to The Trussell Trust UK, which supports food banks across the UK to provide vital supplies to feed those who are struggling. This is teamwork at it’s finest – one of the biggest bands of the century coming together with their fans to help others by creating great music.
You can find out more about The Trussell Trust here. The Fireside Sessions is out now via Republic Records; you can listen to ‘Reaching Out To You’ below: