Friday, April 19 2024

In the wake of the heyday of ’90s rock, a genre that once dominated the musical landscape, its legacy continues to find newcomers who embrace this style of music. Particularly in the indie rock community, those heavy guitar-based songs are very much alive. Despite rock’s wane in mainstream popularity, a multitude of exceptional artists steadfastly uphold its traditions, deserving of broader acclaim. Jason Lyles, an artist from Chattanooga, USA, is one of those under-the-radar artists who deserve some recognition. His new release ‘Deflated’ is not only a powerful song; it also has great lyrics and a topic that will strike a chord with a diverse audience.

‘Deflated’ is hard to pinpoint to a specific genre, but it has a ’90s alternative rock vibe mixed with some ’90s power pop. Think of artists like Matthew Sweet, Jason Faulkner and Brendan Benson. Jason has always been interested in different styles and genres, and you can definitely hear that in his music, where he combines indie rock, power pop, folk rock, Americana, and alternative rock. His influences range from David Bowie to Tom Petty to The Flaming Lips to Beck.

This rock anthem starts with a bang. The guitars carry a raw, crunchy tone while the drums resonate with a satisfying clarity, punctuated by the crisp snap of the snare and the deep rumble of the bass. As the verse unfolds, the heavy palm-muted guitars, supported by the driving rhythm section embody the essence of rock music. The vocals sound great and remind me a bit of Bryan Adams, but, even more so, Matthew Sweet (ala ‘Sick of Myself’). Jason knows how to deliver the lyrics with emotion and when the chorus kicks in, the song really shows its power. The grungy guitars infuse the track with a darker, alternative edge, while the tranquil bridge, adorned with masterfully mixed vocal harmonies, offers a poignant contrast. It has some Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’ vibes to it. Adding to the atmospheric depth are haunting tones of the violin and an organ.

The theme of the song deals with death and loss. ‘Deflated’ is a powerful metaphor, symbolising the gradual slipping away of life. In this case, a beloved pet. Through imagery and storytelling, the song delicately navigates the complexities of grief, offering solace in the acceptance of life’s transient nature. It’s the darkest song that Jason has done. And, as a big animal lover myself, I can relate to the lyrics and vibe of the song.

The music video stands out as a remarkable piece of 2D stop-motion animation. Despite its initial appearance as a children’s animation, it adeptly delves into the sombre themes of the song. Centered around a balloon as the protagonist, the video serves as a poignant metaphor for confronting mortality and the journey towards acceptance. Accompanied by a cast of animal characters trying to save the balloon from dying, the video captures the essence of the song’s theme, creating a compelling visual narrative that will touch a nerve with viewers.

‘Deflated’ is not just a song with a captivating video; it serves as a source of solace and comfort for those grappling with the loss of a loved one. With its blend of dark, grunge-infused instrumentation and uplifting elements like the exquisite string arrangement and rich vocal harmonies, the track resonates deeply. Its ability to simultaneously evoke sombre emotions while offering a sense of uplift makes it truly remarkable. In short, I was mega impressed and deeply moved!

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Jason Lyles offers a powerful blend of ’90s alternative rock and power pop in his latest release ‘Deflated’ showcasing a unique fusion of genres. The song, exploring themes of death and loss, delivers emotive storytelling with a compelling mix of grunge-infused instrumentation and uplifting elements.


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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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