During a world crisis, mental health is often an overlooked part of healthcare. While music certainly can’t take the place of medical care, it can definitely help. The healing powers of music are astounding, and Rags & Riches, an American pop-punk project, want to do their part to help get their fans through the tough times.
The band was formed in 2017, and over the past two years, Tanner and Peyton have worked hard to “[discover] their unique sound, identity, and aesthetic.” The resulting debut single, “Speed of Sound” collected over 650,000 streams on Spotify and over 500,000 views on YouTube less than three months after its February 2019 release.
Since the beginning of quarantine, Rags & Riches have been hard at work. Recognizing that the challenges of today’s world only make music more necessary, the Lexington, Kentucky-based duo have not stopped creating their upbeat, positive tracks.
Their latest release, “Don’t Look Down,” dropped on Friday, May 29, 2020, and, like so many of Rags & Riches’ songs, carries a message of hope and positivity.
“Many people battle with mental illness, depression and suicide,” Tanner Whitt acknowledges. “All of the thoughts that go through someone’s head are written within this song. The darkness is lifted with the simple cry, “don’t look down.” We hope this song can be a light in someone’s dark time to remind them they are not alone, and to always keep their head up. “
Beginning with monochrome, saturated instrumentals, “Don’t Look Down” carries a slowly-building, molasses-like tension from the very first note. Sticky and sleek all at once, the instrumentals and lyric video help create an ambiance of shadow behind the track’s smooth, clear vocals.
The structure of “Don’t Look Down” mirrors the song’s meaning. Like the thoughts many people fight during mental illness, the track ebbs and flows between dark and light in its diction. Initially, the lyrics are self-deprecating: “I’m a liar and a thief / Steal from the hungry / Bite the hand that feeds,” before flowing into the chorus, which acknowledges the complexities of mental health and reassures listeners, “Don’t look down / I’ve been hanging by a thread / I’m bad company / Take hold now / I’ve been living on the edge / But there’s more to the story.”
The atmosphere of “Don’t Look Down” is darker and even more complex than many of Rags & Riches’ other songs, furthering their range and discography in a way that will likely attract new listeners. One of their best releases to date, “Don’t Look Down” is one of the band’s best releases to date. Masterfully written, the song is guaranteed to impress both lyric lovers and instrumental enthusiasts.
With the uncertainty and fear swirling around our feet, Tanner & Peyton have a simple but reassuring message for fans: “Stay healthy, stay safe, and don’t look down.”
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***Like the majority of my reviews, a submission fee was charged for this post.***