Welcome to our ongoing series The Anatomy Of A Good Song. In this series we aim to highlight a song from a West Virginia artist that sets the standard as to what a quality song should be in regards to the overall feel and sound of a song. That’s not to say all songs should sound the same or are created equally, but these songs are great examples of what is possible. Today we present to you the single, Sun Shine In by hillbilly_chic. Be sure to follow this outstanding artist and, as always, check out our Born & Bred Spotify Playlist for more great WV music!
This song caught our attention a few months back when it was released from Beckley native, John Bair who is known by hillbilly_chic. in the music world.
Instrumentation: Sun Shine In is not a complicated song musically nor is it extremely busy. This is a great example of a song where less is more. hillbilly_chic. utilizes a basic 1-4-5 chord structure in the key of B on this track. Some of the biggest songs in the history of music use this very basic progression. Some artists get hung up on needing to write complex progressions to make them stand out when in reality not every song needs that. A basic structure allows for layering and a focal on the lyric’s and melody of the track.
Lyrics: Bair has written a very poppy track with a message of hope in the face of adversity. He talks about his vision of heaven on earth now, and helping the oppressed and removing barriers. The main question of the song is do you still have hope when it seems like the world is against you.
The pre-chorus talks about his vision for a better world
When I am King, I’ll break the locks
I’ll throw the keys into the sea
Take down the walls and build a home with them
I’ll take a crowbar to the gates
Heaven will be so commonplace
We’ll live as one til’ kingdom comes again
There is a great acoustic guitar break out of the pre-chorus before the song explodes into the chorus that asks is there hope when you’re feeling lost?
Tell me does the sun shine in, when you’re done believing?
Tell me does the sun shine in?
Tell me it’s wrong, nothing ever goes right
Tell me when you’re dying on the inside
Does the sun shine in?
One of the things we love about these lyrics is that hillbilly_chic. avoids the pitfall of using a standard rhyming scheme. A lot of artists fall into the A A B B or A B A B rhyming scheme which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be creatively limiting. On this track he uses some rhyming within phrases but avoids the need to make every phrase have to rhyme.
Production: Sun Shine In has the right production for a track like this. A vocal filter is used throughout the track that in some cases could be considered too much, but it’s used the right way here. It’s not overbearing and it fits with the song. The production here is nicely done without being overproduced which in pop music can happen a lot. there are some rick sensibilities to the mix that make this track fit in the two worlds of rock and pop seamlessly.
Vocals: There is nothing here that’s going to leave your jaw on the ground. It doesn’t need to. Bair’s vocals are perfect for what he’s doing. He’s got a great pop aesthetic on his vocal that does exactly what it needs to for a song like this. He knows how to use his vocal within his wheelhouse. A pitfall for a lot of artists is that they try to be or sound like someone they are not. Here it seems like the artist is very comfortable with who he is and what he does and is uniquely his own.
Check out the newly released lyric video for Sun Shine in from hillbilly_chic. below.