In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Understand” (A COLORS SHOW) — Cantrell
How We Found It
Once again, A COLORS STUDIO performance comes to bring us something endearing to not only grace our ears but our eyes as well. Atlanta based, Albany raised artist Cantrell is here to present his mind and thoughts for full display in our SubmitHub inbox.
Why We Like It
Through trials and tribulations, the heart begins to feel weathered down from repeated storms. No matter how battered, we can always be built back up from those broken pieces. Rooted in the honesty of understanding that universal experience, empathy is the outpouring emotion I get from Cantrell’s “Understand.” He is presenting his perspective on what it means to understand his fellow man after asking himself the questions he’s now putting to the listener.
I got a question for you. / Do you remember your first fight? / Your first love? Your first lay? Your first flight? / Your first loss. Or the first time you got high? / A warm house with heated stones from cold nights. / Or what about the first time you felt hate? Or what about the first time you felt God? / My point is it can’t last if it’s only pain.” – Cantrell, “Understand”
When posing these questions, I think it’s hard to not come off condescending or superior because you sound like you know it all. But instead, Cantrell’s tender voice of concern cuts through and shines bright when it seems like he’s looking past you. His flow is poetic and controlled in his vocal texture in a way that seems like he is talking directly to me. He’s touching the heart with his warm vocals on a beat that’s simple but hollowly soulful.
Compassion, empathy… a feeling of I get it. It was definitely rooted in the emotional side of things. I wanted to pluck certain strings in someone for sure.” – Cantrell for CentralSauce (2020)
Also, because this is a visual focused video, we get an extra layer that continues to delve even further with the listener. In the performance, Cantrell begins with “chase your dreams” like he’s talking to himself at first, but as soon as the drum kick hits in the beat, his gaze focuses as if he’s eye to eye with me. He hones his words and flows directly to the listener. The connection is so strong it’s almost uncomfortable. He relieves the gaze every now and then to look at the sky or give a gesture but then it’s right back on you. It feels personal and prevalent to what I’m facing to make it intimate. I have to face what he’s facing. So when he speaks, I understand.
From The Artist
The idea that there are things that happen in our life we can explain, and things that we can’t. At the end of the day, we can either choose to accept it or we can fight it. I wanted the song to inspire the former. I wanted the song to say “it’s ok… somebody knows what you’re feeling. Keep going. It’ll make you better.” I just approached it like I’m speaking to someone in a transitional phase.” – Cantrell for CentralSauce (2020)
More From The Artist
If you want to follow Cantrell, you can follow his Twitter and Instagram to keep up with him. You can listen to the studio version of “Understand” on his album Devil Never Even Lied. You can also listen to his 2018 album, Stardust 2 Angels.
More to Discover
Subscribe to the CentralSauce mailing list so you never miss out on the freshest sauce. Check out this continuously updated playlist of songs Tyler has added to our Discovery section! Each track or artist has been featured in our “Why We Like It” section, so be sure to check out the page here on the site.