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"Polarized" - Scenic Route to Alaska | Review

Amidst a time of chaos comes Scenic Route to Alaska’s new song “Polarized,” a politically-charged anthem rallying for justice and equality, reminding us such a feat can only be accomplished by uniting, not dividing.

The song opens with a crunchy introduction that’s reminiscent of cult-favorite midwest emo bands like Modern Baseball and Mom Jeans., though lead vocalist Trevor Mann has a smooth, almost twangy timbre that sounds like a healthy mix of Brandon Flowers and Ben Gibbard.

Scenic Route to Alaska is not shy about their raison d’être, so to speak-- the opening line is “no better time to change the pattern, break the habit.” They dive headfirst into issues at hand and waste no time beating around the bush. Throughout the verses, they beg to ask questions regarding the current division of the people, and wonder why striving for equality is so controversial. They even take it a step further and ask, is it always going to be this way?

Two minutes in, the climax of the song is marked by the lyric “we gotta do it for the generations coming next,” as it soars over a roaring electric guitar. The lead guitar calls back to the riff of the very beginning, this time backed by the rest of the arrangement that accumulated over the course of the song’s 3-minute and 6-second run. This is the moment where all musical tension releases into its incredibly satisfying payoff. Lyrically, this is the moment where all its existential questions finally receive their answer. It’s a powerful, invigorating, and unifying moment that turns the song into an effective call to action.

Scenic Route to Alaska is an indie pop rock trio made up of Trevor Mann, Shea Conner, and Murray Wood. Their musical endeavors have taken them across North America, Australia, and Europe, even landing them a set and workshop at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Their goal as creatives is to produce music that is equal parts accessible and meaningful, and their nearly 35,000 monthly Spotify listeners agree that they truly deliver. Four albums into their career, they’re only just starting.

Written by Jess Ward

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