Last week I had a flash of understanding. That some patterns that occur within my life have not only been there for some time, but also that I was the only one that could change them – and most importantly, that they were indeed changeable. Hearing Newcastle (UK) band GroundCulture then express this sentiment in a song therefore felt like some kind of perfect synchronicity. The five piece have just released a music video for “Deviate” from their self-titled EP which released on June 1st. Not only is “Deviate” wowing me with meaning, it’s also impressive by sound.
My understanding of the intention behind the song title is that we have a choice, in going on a particular path: We can continue a loop of frustration, or we can deviate from that path and make changes that will have positive ripple effects. “Deviate” draws inspiration on this theme from an Alan Watts quote about waking up, and how “if you’re not ready you’re going to stay pretending that you’re just a ‘poor little me’”.
But maybe I should talk about what it sounds like and not just this really important message that GroundCulture are sharing. With impressive riffs and tense vocals expressed by a lighter melody, the sense of searching and frustration is apparent in this life of ‘dead history’ returning. Stuttering moments of rhythm are both intriguing as well as very fitting for a stop-start experience of life; as in “can I break free of this yet?”.
“Strike the match, I’ve got a whole new perspective.”
The persistence of the melody and that riff is somehow comforting and uneasy, eventually sparking a sense of needing to make a change. GroundCulture’s pushing and changing rhythms work satisfying well in feeling like more is possible, as does the breakdown.
Vocalist Roy-Daniel Watson shares “Metaphorically, Deviate speaks to me and illuminates the repetition of negative and inhibiting actions or thoughts. All around the world, the same essence permeates through people’s entire journey. We need to become aware of these segments of our paradigm and learn that (with awareness, intention and accepting that were all in a pool of pure potential, equipped with far more power than we ever can perceive) we’re more than capable of flipping the script and redefining ourselves.There’s a duality in story.. Have I made the change and redirected my life? Or am I reflecting on life before I throw in the towel and remove myself from that headspace in the only way that I that I feel I can?” In this way, he sees places of darkness/lowness as having the potential to reveal to people their strengths and value, more than being just negative in all senses of the word.