McPherson/Grant | “Waiting for the Sunflowers” (2016)
A review by Alan Haber
Looking back and assessing decades both prospering and fading in the rearview mirror is a familiar mode of expression for pop writers and performers seeking inspiration that can entertain and illuminate. Scott McPherson and Jamie Grant, working together as a five-star duo armed with deep creative pockets, know this perhaps better than anyone else.
“Waiting for the Sunflowers,” the first song released from McPherson/Grant, premiering exclusively all over the world today in full and radio versions on Pure Pop Radio, is proof that the past can inform the here and now, and the future, for songwriters who know where to look. Pop 4 and Tiny Volcano’s Scott McPherson and musician Jamie Grant know how to blend their influences and build on them for maximum effect.
What McPherson and Grant are getting at in the lively and poppy and vaguely psychedelic “Waiting for the Sunflowers” is the idea that as the years pass, the view from where one is now can be somewhat nostalgic with cracks in the foundation; the promise that life will be a dream based on what happened in prior decades may be a faulty one, if one is to be honest about all things. People move on and gain perspective; that crazy decade, that crazy, golden decade, was then and now is now.
“Waiting for the Sunflowers” adopts a mashup of musical influences, on top of which McPherson and Grant skilfully tell their story. This musical foundation is cured with dollops of 10cc, “Sowing the Seeds of Love”-era Tears for Fears, Band on the Run-era Paul McCartney, and the Beatles. The long and radio versions of McPherson and Grant’s song tell the tale: The narrator notes “I grew up in the ’70s” and had my fun, and then it came time to look back and “those times were golden, time we’re moving on.”
The past, in fact, can weigh you down: “What was once so fun for us, now becomes our albatross,” the singer intones. “You don’t second guess tyrannosaurus.” Being an adult means being responsible: “No you can’t go rockin’ around like the clown you were in your twenties.” A hard lesson to learn for the responsible parties in life. “When you get old, there’s a fork in the road…”
Message delivered, after which it’s time to stretch out “Hey Jude” style, as McCartney-esque “Letting Go” electric guitar lines frolic arm in arm with Abbey Road “Come Together” guitar stabs and, as the song comes to a closing fade, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” white noise in the form of a chorus of buzzing bees descending on sunflowers. You sense that you are hearing something truly spectacular and strikingly original, and you are.
There is more to come from McPherson and Grant; you can chart their progress as they work on a full album by visiting their website (click here); the timer near the bottom of the page counts down to the release of that album, and having heard some of the demos the pair has cooked up, I can truthfully say that it will all absolutely blow your minds.
Prepare to be amazed and delighted by “Waiting for the Sunflowers” (you can see a video that has been crafted by clicking here) and make a mental note to be equally mesmerized by what McPherson and Grant come up with next.
Listen for “Waiting for the Sunflowers,” premiering worldwide exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio. Listen, also, for more than 8,300 other handpicked melodic pop songs from the ’60s to today playing in rotation on our 24-hour-a-day stream. You’ll love what you hear.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below. (And dig our new, coolness-adorned logo from musician Jamie Grant (McPherson/Grant)!)
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