Line of Fire

Today’s selection is a song I’ve heard many times on Apple Music, and have thought several times about sharing. It’s by Junip, a Swedish rock band.

A trio of childhood friends, Jose Gonzalez, Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn, formed the band in 1998. Araya left the group around 2010, and the remaining duo has kept active, adding musicians for recording and live performances.

Before I read the band’s description of the piece on their website, I felt the song had a brooding, dramatic vibe, maybe illustrating the difficulties that can accompany life transitions. The write-up seems to come to a similar conclusion, adding the notion of redemption; I find “Line of Fire” adds a lingering effect that speaks to a yearning for, well… maybe absolution… and a wish to be able to set down the burden of regret as a step toward healing.

From the Junip website: “… ‘Line of Fire’ is more about taking responsibility and doing what you can to change your life in a new situation.” For González, the words aren’t meant to be specific, but meant to “make you feel something, and create an emotion. Stuff I think about is more about human nature in general: songs are about love and death – not necessarily relationships, really. There’s a high ambition to reach deep emotions, and I tend to write about these topics.” For him, the key topic remains redemption – “those life-changing moments that shake people up, which unite all the themes. It’s ultimately about how the grass will grow after snow melts away: finding that hopeful feeling between the lines, that’s what the whole record is about.”

It was helpful to read that as I made my way through the song, pondering its meaning.

“What would you do
If it all came back to you?
Each crest of each wave
Bright as lightning

What would you say
If you had to leave today?
Leave everything behind
Even though for once, you’re shining

Standing on higher ground
When you hear the sounds
You realize it’s just the wind
And you notice it matters who and what you let under your skin

If put to the test
Would you step back from the line of fire?
Hold everything back
All emotion set aside it

Convince yourself
Someone else
Hide from the world
Your lack of confidence
What you choose to believe in
Takes you as you fall
Takes you as you fall

No one else around you
No one to understand you
No one to hear your calls
Look through all your dark corners
You’re backed up against the wall
Step back from the line of fire

What would you do
If it all came back to you?
Each crest of each wave
Bright as lightning
Do the same as you

What you choose to believe in
Takes you as you fall

No one else around you
No one to understand you
No one to hear your calls
Look through all your dark corners
You’re backed up against the wall
Step back from the line of fire

Step back from the line of fire”

“Line of Fire,” by Jose Gonzalez, Tobias Winterkorn, Elias Araya.
Lyrics retrieved from Lyrics.com.

About halfway through the song, a synthesizer line enters briefly, with a sound somewhat like a siren. It returns about three-quarters of the way through and sustains in a way that builds the song’s urgency; it’s dramatic, so much so that I am sure I feel like my blood pressure rises when I hear the tune going into that outro. The whole work is a brilliant piece of music, very captivating and mesmerizing.

Junip’s music has appeared in many TV programs. “Line of Fire” has been featured on the series Breaking Bad and The Blacklist, as well as The Originals. I wasn’t surprised to see that in one of the Wikipedia articles I read when looking into the piece. It’s one of those songs with a definite edge that can heighten and add depth to the drama in a motion picture.

“Line of Fire” is the opening track on the band’s second full album, Junip (2013).

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here is the audio from the Junip YouTube topic channel:

And here is a performance on KEXP Seattle. It is always great to see the musicians play, though I thing the multifacted album production process adds layers of sound that make the piece more dramatic than what can be broadcast through a live channel.

One thought on “Line of Fire

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