Beauty from Chaos: “Farewell” by William Rose & Flying Islands

Everyone keeps saying we are living in unprecedented times, and that may truly be the best word for it. With Coronavirus sweeping the globe, the news we learn in the morning changes by the hour until we go to bed at night. When we wake up, it could all be drastically different. Not only are we being forced to face new normals, but we are now face-to-face with the fear, frustration and a little panic over the illumination of all the underlying societal issues we always knew were there but continue to be unmasked such as healthcare problems, racism and greed. 

It’s during these times we cling to light however we can get it. We will certainly see ugliness and chaos, but we will also see the most beautiful sides of people and the most beautiful art to come out of it. Those will be the things we tell our grandchildren about. The beauty that is being shared and born out of chaos by musicians is one of those lights we can cling on to no matter who we are or where we come from. That is what William Rose & Flying Islands are giving us with their new track “Farewell”.

Flying Islands is fronted by international singer/songwriter William Rose. This multi-faceted group expands genres and is based out of Philadelphia. Listen to them and you’ll be sure to hear their indie-rock elements, punk flavors and introspective vibes. Together, William Rose and his long-time friends/veteran musicians Jason Bafile, Jon Beard and Dan Oatman have united to use their fantastic skill of humanistic storytelling to create “Farewell”. There’s a calming sense of finality, yet hope in this track. And right now, calm and hope are two things we all could use a little more of. You will be pulled in immediately from the first soft sounds of indie rock/pop keys to the lulling drums and ethereal guitar. This song has a way of quietly walking you through uncertainty and meeting you with a sense of togetherness. 

The best songs are simple. And that’s what “Farewell” has — a simple sense of grace. Simplicity in the arrangement and in vocals are both things that this track has. What William Rose & Flying Islands have created is something that doesn’t try too hard to make you feel because it was rooted and created in pure emotion and depth. When musicians create work like that, the feelings, the familiarity, the emotional attachment that comes from the audience as a result is natural. That’s surely what they’ve done here. This track sounds effortless probably because it was created that way. I don’t have to have been in the studio with them to know that this was likely one of those pieces that came naturally and easily to them — and it shows. 

This is not only a strong piece musically, but lyrically as well. It’s the lyrics that hooked into me and pulled me deeper into the song more than anything else. 

Won’t you raise your glass with me
Just to the end of the world
We’ve been waiting a long time to find a heaven
Lift up your voice just one more time
Scream as loud as you can
If it’s going down, we’re going together

In all, this is the strongest track that I’ve seen from William Rose & Flying Islands. In these times, being a musician is also among one of the most uncertain professions because their livelihoods are being taken from them. Yet, they continue to create. Even when the shows stop and when people stop paying them to play because everything is closed, they continue to create because that’s who they are. We’re all lucky that they share those gifts with the rest of us. It’s pieces of beauty like this track that will make someone’s day a little brighter and we can all use that — especially now.

The song and video for “Farewell” are being released on March 22 on Spotify, Bandcamp, and on Facebook at 7 p.m. Be sure to see what else these talented guys have to offer and follow them on all the platforms below!

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