The new track from the Bronx-born rock band is “about people coming face to face with their mental and emotional limits”
Ah, spring. When the city had shut down, my roommates had abandoned me for greener, less pandemic-y pastures, and I almost cried when a dog at Prospect Park ran away from me before I could pet it (and then yelled to the owner “I HAVEN’T TOUCHED A LIVING THING IN SIX WEEKS!!!!”).
We all went through our own…um, journey… during this period, and while it was more the worst of times than the best of times—as times go—some truly great art came out of it, as musicians in NYC and beyond harnessed their individual feelings of sadness and uncertainty to illustrate and process the heart-breaking (and mind-fucking) collective experience that was watching the world turn upside down.
On that note, I’m excited to share one of those pieces of art—and a true sonic silver lining—courtesy of NYC rock ‘n’ rollers Red Sun Radio.
This is the rooftop session for the Bronx-born band’s excellent unreleased track “Suicide Watch,” which was written in the dark early stages of this strange, strange time and then—when things had begun to open up, and lighten up—recorded on the roof of NYC’s Sear Sound Studios.
A few weeks after the late September release of the video—which features Ken Iselhart and Sean O’Connor of he band strumming and singing against a backdrop of NYC buildings and hopeful blue skies—Ken shared some thoughts on the song, the rooftop recording session and the artists’ feelings over email:
“This song was written during those cold and lonely days of late March when it felt like the world might be ending. It’s about people coming face to face with their mental and emotional limits. These days especially, that may include a lot of us.
There’s a big difference between the environment in which the song was written, and the environment in which it was performed. Had we known that one day we’d be singing ‘Suicide Watch’ on a rooftop under the expanse of a beautiful blue sky, maybe we wouldn’t have been able to write the song at all.
Circumstances change, people change, life moves on. It’s sad to not have the answers, or not know the right thing to say, or not know how to help the people you love. All I hope is that maybe, a good song can help pass the time a little easier.”
Couldn’t agree more—and definitely couldn’t have said it better myself.
While seven months into this mess, life is still far from normal, there is at least the real sense now that we can—and will—get through this, no matter how difficult or painful it might be.
And until we do, well… thank god for music, right?
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7: 800-273-8255. Locally, NYC Well offers access to free, confidential mental health services and can connect you with a counselor over phone, text or chat. Learn more here.
Photo provided by the band. Video produced by Steven Lynn // Mixed and mastered by Jeremy Loucas