American Idol and The Walking Dead are unarguably two of the most revered, history-making shows on television in the modern era: bring them together and you get “Blackbird Song” by Season 9 Idol winner Lee DeWyze. After a successful transition back into the indie scene alongside Vanguard Records with the release of ‘Frames’, which was given rave reviews upon its 2013 release , it was evident that each coming year would only mark yet another great milestone in the young folk/rock artist’s budding career. “Blackbird Song”, his latest single penned for last week’s episode of The Walking Dead featuring the unveiling of Bob Stokey’s backstory and the latest happenings between Daryl and Beth.
Though obvious for a songwriter with such a high pedigree as DeWyze’s, it has to be said that he did an incredible job in designing a tune that perfectly emanates the glum feeling of isolation which the show tends to convey. “Blackbird Song” on its own hearkens back to an era of blues-laden Southern soul at its finest. It follows a standard chord structure similar to what was the “norm” back in the day, but in so it follows a certain path of simple elegance that is hardly easy to come by in what is typically considered popular music today. He has exchanged any radio-ready hooks and extra studio polish for a track that feels so convincingly gritty and real in its composition that it would be supremely hard for it not to resonate with its listeners. Again, it fits the despaired solitude of the series it was written for to a tee, and in that, it has done exactly what it had needed to be done for itself to be a success.
In terms of musical innovation, “Blackbird Song” does build up into a fiery bridge emphasized by DeWyze’s rugged vocal disposition paired with a blazing rhythmic acoustic/string instrumental sure to inspire a callback to The Walking Dead’s more intense moments as fans give the track a listen. With that said, even if you aren’t a fan of The Walking Dead, DeWyze has shown in “Blackbird Song” that, once again, he is a songwriter capable of conveying the perfect emotion through his craft in both what he writes and how he conveys it through his vocal. It’s another masterclass effort from Lee, wholly worthy of all of the success it’s getting in the current moment.
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