The happiest of pop punk acts, Air Ralley, have dropped their second single for 2019 “Not Broken”. The Indiana/Tennessee based act have proven themselves to be bold and adventurous yet again. There is a clear connection to their previous EP, Oh, How Your Mind Wanders, but an even clearer desire to reinvent their sound with “Not Broken”. Just over a month ago the band broke their three-year silence with “Fighting For”, their first track of what appears to be many. Sharing the same overall design as their previous single’s artwork, it seems clear that there is something big on the horizon for Air Ralley.
The style, sound and tone are all quite reminiscent of a bygone era; in each regard I’m reminded of Angels & Airwaves’ 2007 album, I-Empire. Whether that influence is direct or indirect, “Not Broken” serves well as a modern take on the wonder of advancement. You can see examples of that throughout the song, “Let’s push our luck, let’s take some chances. Memories that last are not expensive.” The song focuses largely on the excitement of life’s road ahead, but also the carefree nature at which you should take down that path.
All meaning aside, the music itself is playful and curious. The percussion dances around the entire track, occasionally pitter-pattering through the song’s ambient space. The light guitar tones really complement the atmospheric vocal effects scattered throughout. The pleasant and optimistic lyrics partnered with the lively instrumentation creates something close to a nostalgic look back on life. It’s a feeling that is uniquely found in songs about summer, youth and the golden years of life.
I respect bands that take years to put together releases. Growing takes time and no one can force an evolution. For Air Ralley, I can see the difference in where they were three years ago to now, and it’s a refreshing change. Accepting life’s challenges isn’t always easy but sometimes that’s what is needed to become a better person. I can’t wait to see what else is to come from Air Ralley; more pretty music with even more introspective ideas.