Is Ethan Burn’s “22 Knots” A Retro Throwback Or Future Classic?

by: Chris Pizzolo

Personally, I always felt like I was late to the party when it came to listening to retro pop acts like Sharon Jones, Leon Bridges, Charles Bradley, and even Amy Winehouse. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t  connect to the lyrics. I always found myself  so distracted by the music’s aesthetic that it left me missing the point.

I guess I would describe my experience with this kind of music like this; imagine you are staring at Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, and instead of trying to decipher how this incredible piece of art is an ode to time, you’re merely stuck focusing on the fact that there is a melted clock hanging from a branch. You’re merely checking in at the surface of the piece.

That’s typically how I feel when I listen to this style of music, but when I heard Ethan Burns “22 Knots”, it was was as if everything flipped.  I was immediately captivated by his voice and lyrics.

When I heard the lyrics of the song’s second verse, I finally was able to make sense of this genre. I was able to understand what I’ve been missing for so long;

“Quiet nights are washed away, reflect upon my mistake. I, find comfort in the shame”

For me, this sound and genre conjures up the imagery of being in a dim lit, smoky lounge with a room full of hip lonely hearts. And maybe that’s what Amy Winehouse was all about. She had a beautiful gift with her voice, she had a harrowing story, and communicated it through a timeless musical medium. If that’s the case, if I’m finally understanding it, then I have Ethan to thank for making me understand.
His track “22 knots” is not an intricately complex piece of music, but it is alluring, and thought provoking. If you listen to one new song today, make sure this is it.

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