Morning Parade, ‘Headlights’ – Song Review
If it’s Tuesday, then there must be another U.K. act looking to conquer America. Say hello to Morning Parade, an Essex quintet whose self-titled debut album will be released in the U.S. later this year. The band has already received soundtrack love from ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ and are looking to hit it big with their new single, ‘Headlights.’
And it would not surprise us in the least if this song did just that. Singer Steve Sparrow’s tenor bears resemblance to Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, though it’s been years since Snow Patrol sent a song this perky to radio. ‘Headlights’ is a veritable audio checklist for modern-day British pop rock (in a good way, of course). Earnest vocal, check. Sky-high chorus, check. Driving rhythm section, check. Shimmering synth lines augmented by pretty, wordless backing vocals, check. Frankly, it would shock us if this song wasn’t a hit.
There is the matter of the lyrics, though. After repeated back-to-back plays, Sparrow’s words left little impact. The vocal melody is pretty and catchy, but the only words in the chorus that stuck are “Like a rabbit in your headlights.” Closer inspection though (i.e. Googling the lyrics), reveals that the subject matter is more complex than a casual listen might suggest. The ear will catch “I’ll keep my promises / I won’t let you down” right away, but Sparrow’s admission in the chorus that ‘I’m all too predictable” took some effort to discern. Choruses should be the easy sing-along, not the “shut up and listen” part of the song.
Still, as first steps go, ‘Headlights’ is an impressive one. Morning Parade appear to have mastered the art of good dynamics; the only question is whether the band’s lyrical content can keep up with their music.
Listen to Morning Parade’s ‘Headlights’