A Song about Superheroes: "Superhero" - by the Rain
a song for the superhero within - discovered under doubt
This is the opening track for “Out of the Emptiness”…..the one and only full album made by “The Rain”. It came about as a collaboration of Remedy with finger-style acoustic virtuoso, Andrew White, while he lived for a year in the ‘fax machine (Halifax, Nova Scotia). What resulted was an intensely creative and exciting album that was sculpted with great care, but never officially released. Only now, does it make it’s web-wide debut.
“SuperHero” was a song in Andy’s archive of acoustic jems….soaring melodies, and intricate guitar work effortlessly supporting each other. Andy not only provided the song here, but also an experimental willingness to let others (i.e. me) sing it as well…..not that I needed to….Andy has an amazing voice! But I’m grateful he let me sing on the studio version of this song, as it’s a very uplifting song….full of optimism and magic and hope….as a song about superheroes would be.
We need superheroes. We need them in our stories, in our fantasies and in ourselves. Who doesn’t love a great song about redemption? Or one of such optimistic energy? Sure, self-reliance, rationale, realism, all appropriate and necessary. But so is dreaming, wonder, and mystery, without which we might get paralyzed from lack of questions…a condition logic would be unable to alleviate.
We wanted to convey a heroic and triumphant atmosphere in the arrangement and mix. And we went through a couple of drummers in the process. The first guy, pro as he was, was just too tame. Finally, when Scott Ferguson got behind the kit, and our desire to create an epic, blockbuster-movie feel to the song…..he finally brought all the energy, dynamics and intensity that the song required. Stellar performance! Same goes for Andrew White. He is able to work magic on an acoustic guitar that I didn’t know was possible. Listen especially to the transition from the second verse into the chorus…..amazing harmonic flutter……as if taking flight! We also tried hiring an outside mixer, but it wasn’t sounding as we hoped, so we ended up doing it ourselves. We hoped to achieve the big sound heared on Dave Matthews Band, “Stand Up” album, with incredible arrangements mixing horns, and acoustic guitar, in a rock setting. We certainly weren’t able to sound as good as Dave….but we hope we succeeded at least in creating an authentic sound and mood that transports the listener skyward.
As appropriate for a song about superheroes, the lyric video (above) imagines the perspective from someone who can fly. The lyrics also give this hero “X-ray eyes”. Though he probably doesn’t need them……as all he/she needs to see is very plain on the faces of those he cares about. But the line has many potential meanings…..a protective sentinal looking out for his beloved, or the bravado of the knight in shining armor…..another possible manifestation of the superhero of yester-year.
Even though this is a song about a superhero, it reminds the listener throughout, that the hero is fallilbe. Ironically, this reminder happens in the uplifting and powerful chorus…..’I won’t let you down…..ever again’…..so there’s a reference to past failings. Also, “I need to feel your human touch, cause we can only take so much”, illustrates that the hero is just as vulnerable to loneliness as the rest of the human race. And underneath all those super-powers, there is a vulnerable, uncertain, very flawed, imperfect soul.
I tried to get this as the closing credit song for Avengers: Endgame, but oh well…..I guess they managed without it. ;-P
I hope you love it as much as we loved making it: