Florida recording group Gunboat Diplomats has gone one better, and that’s saying a lot. This group’s song “Crazy About You” is part of the soundtrack for M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film Glass. Imagine heading to the theater and seeing your song in a major motion picture. Having scored at the top of the meter in an amazing way, the group is releasing their latest song, “Judgment Road,” and it is most definitely a winner.
This group self-describes as “a song shop that records indie pop with a vintage vibe in a variety of genres.” There’s pop and then there’s pop. The music produced by these artists isn’t standard mindless pop—if ever pop was profound, this music fits that almost unattainable status.
The new song “Judgment Road” expertly twines lyrics with musical notes to produce a work of art that speaks to every human soul. We all face our judgment in one way or another, whether we’re people of faith or not. There’s an essay at the Gunboat Diplomats’ website about the theme of the song, and although it’s long—anything that isn’t long challenges Web readers whose attention span parallels that of a gnat—it’s well worth your time. Here’s an excerpt from the essay titled Making a Judgment Call:
“ Yikes! French existential philosophy and Biblical verses are a pretty heavy opening for a humble pop music blog…but don’t judge us! We’re cynically using profound concepts to shamelessly plug our latest offering, “Judgment Road,” an Americana-rock song about how each of us has built up a karmic debt that must be paid when the final judgment is rendered. We know what you’re thinking: “What? Not another song about the inevitability of a dreadful final judgment!” But it does raise the musical question: Judged by whom, or what? A higher being? A jury of our peers? Three D-list celebrities on a singing talent show? Well, against our better judgment, we’ve decided to take a quick look at judgment as a musical theme.”
There are some classic lines in the song, including these:
“Beyond the far horizon’s edge the truth must stake its claim
On that lonely, narrow ledge where there’s no one left to blame
For what you are and what you’re not, and for the cause you serve
You give it everything you’ve got and get what you deserve”
I think this song instantly became my favorite by the group, although I’ve praised their work before. I don’t benefit from praising them, by the way. I just like it when musicians go beyond the cookie cutter formats many gatekeepers insist on and actually take a journey into art. I like it when musicians avoid media memes purely for profit and actually focus on the universal human condition with all its joys, miseries, and aspirations. The human race is an endless fountain of inspiration.
The recording group Gunboat Diplomats is a huge plus for every musician in this state. When an independently produced song is placed in a major motion picture, that’s an inspiration to all who work in the music industry here. Hat tip to Gunboat Diplomats, and hopefully, they’ll keep doing what they’re doing and they’ll continue to come up with real art, the kind we don’t get to hear much of from the current corporate music machine.
(Kay B. Day/July 17, 2019)