“Everything Changes.” Well, it should. Our country is deeply damaged. Open your eyes. Our minority populations have never garnered the respect and equality promised by America. We have systemic problems rotting our foundation. We lack the leadership we deserve. Sadly, our president doesn’t represent the beauty that we are. It’s time to be the change we need. Protest. Shout and scream. Vote. Donate. Educate. Have meaningful conversations that alter the narrative. Upstate’s “Everything Changes” isn’t about social injustice or even the pandemic but it is relevant for this necessary time of revolution.
“Everything Changes” is actually a love song. It’s relatable as we all have experienced growing apart from a long-time friend or lover. The acoustic guitar grabs you with its soft introduction while Mary Kenney has a voice that is soothing to the soul. The band balances the vocals while humbly showcasing their immense talents. At three minutes and fifteen seconds the song intensifies. Kenney and Melanie Glenn come together using their voices to expresses sadness, longing, anger and even orgasmic moans to illustrate the complicated dynamics of a relationship. I could translate it to the sorrow, excitement and power activated in our country right now. “Everything Changes” has a modern tone differing from Upstate’s usual vibe which brilliantly incorporates rock, bluegrass, swing, jazz, gospel-soul, folk and even pop. Excellent examples illustrating Upstate’s broad range is their Beatles cover of “I’m Looking Through You” or their originals “Old Advice” and “Ball Rolling.” Their ability to move their sound from the 1940’s to the present is exhilarating.
For me, Upstate’s new song and music video foreshadows the crisis surrounding George Floyd’s death and countless other Black Americans who have been terrorized in our country even with its ‘land of the free’ tagline. “Everything changes faster than you thought it would. Everything changes faster than you thought it could. Everything moves faster than you thought it would. Everything changes faster than you thought it would.” IT MUST! Otherwise I do not anticipate a healthy existence. The promise of “liberty and justice for all” will not be fulfilled. The written words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” which we take as our national identity are inaccurate. We musts make good on our principles. The time is now to ensure “Everything Changes.”