British singer-songwriter Bill Fay recently announced his new album Who Is The Sender? and shared the first song “War Machine.” He’s followed that one up with “Something Else Ahead” a slow-revolving meditation on the way we blithely rush through life, blind to the beauty all around us. Fay begins with the image of fish in a pond — emphasizing how little they know about the rest of the world — before deftly flipping the fish on the next verse as a stand-in for humanity. Of course young people are always writing songs about existential crises and what life means, man, but when a wise and compassionate man in his early seventies ponders the great unknown, it assumes a whole new weight. “Something Else Ahead” is the kind of song that will make you cry if you listen to it at the right moment. It’s all very simple with only ponderous piano, strings and Fay’s melody and harmonies, but sometimes the simplest things are the most powerful. “Let us hope that there’s something else ahead / That our lives on earth don’t just end,” he half-sings, half-whispers. What a specter to face down. Fay lifts one of my favorite lines from Corinthians for his own vision of eternity, building toward a cloudy, distant, otherworld. If heaven does exist, I hope it’s half as beautiful as the song Fay wrote about it.
Listen via NPR.
Who Is The Sender? will be out 4/28 via Dead Oceans.