Fate Under Fire – La La Love
Fate Under Fire’s newest single “La La Love” capitalizes on the quality of the band’s previous two singles, “Parachute” and “On the Water”, with an even more winning effort demonstrating how this talented Sacramento, California headquartered four piece has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to innate talent, a busy touring schedule, and a commitment to writing songs with real value. It isn’t just tinsel and formula that makes Fate Under Fire so memorable. Instead, their songs stick in the memory thanks to their melodic virtues, the cinematic sweep the band achieves with seemingly minimal effort, and David James’ vocal topping everything off with a mix of entertaining vocal pyrotechnics and genuine pathos in his voice. The mix of the song’s musical and vocal strengths makes this one of the most important singles released yet in 2018 and “La La Love” will likely conclude the year retaining that lofty status.
It’s because of an all around band effort. There isn’t a single individual component of their presentation on “La La Love” that feels or sounds lacking. Everything has been developed to its logical end and the band has clearly realized the potential of this song by applying their talents equally to each of its elements. There’s never any studied sense to this; instead, “La La Love” feels nothing less than natural despite the heavy presence of electronic instruments and the traditional instruments present in the mix blend well with those aforementioned electronic elements. There’s definitely a strong sense of dynamics powering this song in a classic style, despite the modern sound, and that confluence of time-tested fundamentals alongside a wholly idiosyncratic approach to music making makes for an invigorating listen. Fate Under Fire never overreaches with the song either – instead, they pare their musical vision down to a totally economical and focused three minutes and change without ever leaving listeners feeling short-changed.
Vocalist David James caps all of those aforementioned strengths off with his best vocal performance yet that carefully straddles a line between entertainment and full blown art. His talent for getting inside both the lyrics and musical structure means he’s working with the song all the time, never generating tension, and enhancing everything around him with his powerfully emotive vocal skills. He really takes off with the song’s chorus, but shows his maturity as a singer by never leaving that moment too outsized in comparison to what’s come before. The lyrics are conversational, but a cut above the typically half formed thoughts and turns of phrase compromising most modern pop songs. Bringing all of these previously mentioned qualities together in a seamless package makes this song one of the more impressive listening experiences I’ve enjoyed in some time and there’s no sign with Fate Under Fire’s “La La Love” that they won’t be able to sustain and even expand on this excellence with future releases.