Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Food Pairing 101: What Goes With Banners' New Single?

One of the greatest people to ever walk the earth was my friend HS. She was absolutely amazed at everything the world had to offer, be it the colors of a peacock feather or the landscape that stretched out beneath her feet. Twelve years ago, as she was exploring a waterfall in Indonesia, a flash flood came and swept her away. Her body was found about a mile from where she disappeared. HS was real, one of the few people who stood by her convictions and maintained her youthful innocence no matter what happened around her. She was still in awe about what her future had in store for her. That's what made her death the hardest one that I've ever been involved with.

I start this post with that little story because I see a lot of HS in the track "Shine a Light" by BANNERS. For one, I imagine HS standing over that waterfall examining the brilliance that stretched before her, a brilliance that would ultimately lead to her tragic death. She was probably ecstatic, smiling, embracing the serenity of it all. "Shine a Light" plays out the same way. There is reason to be ecstatic and smile while enjoying the peaceful serenity that hovers right at the heart of the song. But there is also a subtle sense of foreboding, like something unknown and dangerous is about to rear its head and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. BANNERS creates this bag of mixed emotions with an opening of sparse piano, vocal harmonizing and solo lyrics that fall in and out of falsetto. That's the calming, the serenity. Then the percussion starts. Soft at first, then louder and louder until, before you know it, the danger is clear and present.

Another reason the track reminds me of HS comes from Banners explanation. He talks about the song being about "feeling lost at sea" and "searching for a beacon of light." He goes on to say "it's a song to the person that offers salvation while the storm is raging around you." HS played a large role in this during my high school and college years. When the storm pounded me, I'd go to her farm in the middle of nowhere and find myself in a completely different world. I'd stay there, waiting it out, until the storm had passed. HS wasn't the only one to offer shelter, she was an accomplice to something bigger, something that still remains in the present. Because of that, because of all she provided and all she was, I will forever hold her friendship near.

So what does one pair with this track? HS, J-Fur and I were always hitting up the milkshake shacks in town, so a shake would be my pairing of choice. I'd go with this one, although HS never would've touched it. She was a farm girl through and through and took her milkshakes with full fat, full sugar and full dairy.