Three For Silver represent a band able to bring a unique diversity to music. Their latest record, The Way We Burn, is as much of a narrative journey as it is a musical entity. Their is an eclectic fire within the record, evidenced in the immediate moments of “This Time Tomorrow.” The song very much sets the stage for the rest of the album, as if watching a group of lowlifes take up instruments in the middle of the bar and begin to clash ever so wonderfully. The raucous opening is led into the moody swell of “Evening Shade.” A ballad of epic proportions, it showcases the powerful dynamics and melody clash of the trio.
The beauty of Three For Silver is their ability to set every song to its own world. While conceptualizing an identity for every song, the ability to blend all tracks into one cohesive project lend The Way We Burn as a timepiece, barking through separate journeys with a strong control on the arrangements. The record was tracked with engineer Adam Lansky, creating a surge of raw songs without too much overproduction. If anything, it showcases the trio’s ability to stay natural, letting songs roll to where they need to be.
From the intimate “Devil on My Shoulder” to the crawling “Let ’em Down Easy” and the bombastic “Down In The Cut,” The Way We Burn is a phenomenal piece of orchestration all around. Vocalist and bassist Lucas Warford was able to provide an in depth look at Three For Silver’s latest release, going over every track with vivid details.
This Time Tomorrow: This song is an introduction, an invocation, an invitation to a party you aren’t sure you want to join, a wild night on the town with Lucas, and a quiet moment with Willo over drinks that are probably laced with something. It wasn’t written as the opener, but quickly became the only sensible choice. It’s got loud Lucas freak outs, frenetic resonator bass lines, screaming violin solos, quiet violin tap dances, cascading Willo bridges, slamming Susan drums, and lyrical references to Carl Jung, Good Eats, and Alan Watts, to name a few. It’s got it all.
Evening Shade: Pure Willo. An old song bursting out from the tomb to fly stunningly back to life in front of you. Three people performing live in a stone monument to the past. To the extent that we actually relate to descriptor “folk music”, this is it. Evening Shade is an old song from an even older tradition (the death ballad), but why is it still kicking around? How has it not burned out when so many countless songs have? Our purpose is to breath life into that spark, and bring light to the dark corners of your most ancient heart. Truly indestructible folk songs have a timeless beauty like mountains and rivers, and some day may be as old.
Down In The Cut: Going somewhere you shouldn’t have gone, and dealing with someone you shouldn’t have dealt with. A fatal trip to the wrong side of the tracks with a surprisingly philosophical thug. A good example of our primary philosophy for this album: to follow every song to its ultimate logical conclusion. This song just kept asking to get heavier and heavier until we wound up with something that sounds like a Folk Metal cover of Rage Against The Machine. That’s a complicated way of saying we wound up with something interesting.
Wildwood: Lost in an old forest at night, and led on by an eerie light that’s always just beyond you. The light commands you with a strong voice, while behind it, the darkness of the forest need only whisper to be heard. Which one is Lucas? Which one is Willo? Talk amongst yourselves. Alternatively, a lullaby sung to a young tree. Inspired by a scrap of sheet music found late at night at the Beehive Collective’s old Grange Hall in Maine, and then finished at Chadmo’s house in New Orleans. Entirely recorded in our producer, Adam Lansky’s booming concrete bunker of a basement.
The Way We Burn: A 4am breakup song performed as an ecstatic dance number. Proof that a good beat can turn anything around, but even with the best intentions things may fall apart. Literally begun over the end of a relationship, but now metastasized into a metaphor for the album, the band, and life in general. It’s how you do, not what you do. Often mistaken for an unknown Radiohead song at concerts. Mission Accomplished.
Time Was: In an alternate reality where the electric guitar was never invented, this song was blasted from helicopters during the Vietnam War, also in an alternate reality where songs were actually blasted from helicopters. No other song on the album snuck up and bit us like this one did. It began life as a quiet little bass & vocal rap about death, a beat-poetic ramble, but by the time the buzzsaw viola and booming drums showed up we knew it was something very different. A primary contender for songs we listen to that we’ve ostensibly created and yet have no idea how we made or how to describe them. I think that means they’re original.
Devil On My Shoulder: At a raucous party, an intimate moment between you and someone you should definitely not be dancing with, but they’ve promised the world, and you can believe them at least till the song ends. One of those tunes that hangs around for years and years before it ever finds a home. One of the first songs Willo ever wrote on the accordion. Actively tried to get it on the past couple albums, but it never came together.
Take Me Away: A gut-busting sermon delivered by an old preacher thumping something other than a bible in the heat of a canvas tent to thirsty and desperate followers. Alternatively, the blues, if written by Lao Tzu. Alternatively, an ode to a certain 80’s Tom Hanks film that Lucas was obsessed with as a kid.
Let ‘Em Down Easy: The skin-tightening realization that some comforting platitudes might actually be threats. Alternatively, the opening number for a musical adaptation of Cré na Cille. Alternatively, your new favorite Halloween jam.Another good excuse to bow the bass banjo. Also an excuse to see what an army of clockwork Willos would sound like. Creepy, is the answer.
She Hung The Moon: Our attempt to corner the lesbian wedding song market. Written by Lucas for no woman in particular, but then given to Willo, because singing.
Get Thee Hence: The final step in acceptance after you’ve passed through the darkness and now embrace the absurdity, the cruelty, the good times and the bad. When you’re dedicated to living every last second because it’s all you’ve got and there was nothing anyone could take away from you in the first place. When you wonder if there was ever a “you” to begin with, or was it all just the stories and hearsay with which we endlessly charm and confuse ourselves.
Light In The Shade: A young lady sits in the grass beside a volcano and wonders if that which she has lost ever wonders about her. Another old one, kicked around and altered more than a few times before finally landing on this album. Written fourish years ago while on tour in New Zealand, originally documented in a phone video in front of Mount Ngauruhoe. Watch that and then listen to this, a fun comparison.
Photo by James Rexroad