Radiator King Croons A Somber Ballad With "So Long (Charlie)"
Adam Silvestri isn't your typical singer-songwriter. When he transforms into Radiator King, he undergoes a sort of sadness and gruffness that allows him to dig deep with the bluesy alt-folk tunes he's putting out. This is especially clear with "So Long (Charlie)," a track off his latest full-length album, A Hollow Triumph After All, released last year.
"So Long (Charlie)" is built on tender guitar strums that wax and wane as Silvestri's gravelly vocals take the lead. His voice aches and shakes, a special kind of husky, telling the tough tale of an underdog heading to prison. Soon, resounding booms of percussion join the rhythm line, accompanied by a buzzy, bittersweet harmonica part. We're back to those heavy vocals again, weighed down by life and its sorrows. The arrangement by now just pounds in the background, a lugubrious soundtrack to a story that ends just as forlornly as it began.
The music video for "So Long (Charlie)" echoes the doom and gloom (it's beautifully done, yes, but it's still a whole lot of heartbreak) of the track. We watch as Adam, clad in vintage garb, finds his way to a jail cell where he languishes, singing his goodbyes. The four and a half minute video is shot like a film, expertly framed shots playing with shadows and bursts of light, interspersed with flashback footage. Accompanied by the music video, "So Long (Charlie)" somehow becomes less of a song and more of a story, less of music and more of a movie.
We asked Adam Silvestri to tell us a little about the process and here's what the mastermind had to say:
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