When I was a younger man, I remember listening to Led Zeppelin’s live album The Song Remains the Same and hearing Robert Plant introduce “Stairway to Heaven” as, “this is a song of hope.” I thought, who am I to argue? This is Led Zeppelin! Plant wrote these lyrics, and surely knows what he’s talking about. While he might have known what he was talking about, that did not mean I did. Truth be told, I still do not. I have, not then, or even now, have any idea what the lyrics mean, or if “Stairway” is a song of hope.
Kalen Chase’s new video/single/song called “Happy” is a song of hope. Chase, who has an extensive musical background starting with teaching at the Musicians Institute. Eventually pairing up with Slipknot’s Joey Jordison to front the heavy metal band Vimic, and has also recorded with other metal, hard rocking bands such as 10 Years, Pop Evil, and the speed frenzied Dragonforce. This new work sees Chase going off into an entirely new direction.
Although, the song’s country sounding embryotic beginnings took place over a decade ago, the song sounds as though it was writing during the pandemic. The country changed and the song has become an exuberant ballad.
I will not bore you trying to explain the meaning of the lyrics to the song. It’s a lyric video after all, and I will not patronize any of our loyal fans. I will say this, though. While the song is about viewing losing love with a cup half filled, and maybe it’s just me, but I can see clearly how this song of hope conveys a positive message that so many people need right now as we transitions ourselves back to a glimpse of a normal life. Let things go, move forward, and be happy.
Not going to lie. When I first saw the cover of the video/single/song I thought that the word “Happy” was going to be dripping with sarcasm, but I was proved wrong. While the sound does start off with melancholy piano, and the video is filmed in a dense, foggy, woodland area, it’s the passionate way that Chase sings the song that brings out all the emotion that makes one gleam with a smile on one’s face.
As the video continues the viewer is let free of the woods and see the sunlight shining over the mountains, and eventually the sea, which is a symbol that touches upon things such as hope and optimism. While the ever-present piano is at the forefront of the tune, a lush acoustic guitar joins the fray. As Chase gets closer to the song’s chorus, he is joined by additional vocalist that seem to raise the song to even greater heights. When the vocal are intertwined toward the end the voices give the song an ethereal feel that the lyrics so rightly deserve. As the song hits it climatic conclusion, more instruments are ushered in, and these also help lift the song to a higher plateau.
Maybe I’m just an optimistic person, but in my humble opinion the world could do with more songs like this. I will be looking forward to seeing what Mr. Chase will be bringing us next.
Article: Carmine Basilicata