When the Sandman himself announced his new single Upside Down featuring Xxxxx Xxxxxxxx, my mind went straight to Poets of the Fall. I counted the x’s and Marko Saaresto fitted exactly. I thought to myself, nah, this can’t be right. I hoped of course, because I realised what this would mean to Larry Sandman: a wider exposure of his music, among other things. I hoped but dared not saying it out loud. Then, Larry replaced the first X with M… my mind went wild and after that it did not take long before he let us all on the secret 🥰.
Obsessed much? Maybe. In truth, I am devoted to the artists I support. I believe that Larry Sandman, like others I have written about on this blog -not to mention Poets of the Fall, obviously- can go far with his music. My voice does not reach far, but with a little luck, it will reach the right eyes 🤩. Larry‘s music is classic rock to my ears, with a twist – or many- and I love that. His influences are there in the music, but his identity shines through it all.
Upside Down Single
The day the video was to premiere, I was up at 3 am… yeah, don’t ask. At 4 am, I suddenly realised that the single was out on streaming platforms. I resisted for half a second and then went over to the platform and pressed play. The first thing I noticed was how both voices were supporting each other, the one in the background never over-shadowing the one that had the floor. Smooth sailing that gave me shivers.
Marko Saaresto started singing and the song took yet another turn. I was already very emotional but when the line below hit, it hit me hard. I cannot explain why, it just did.
The road to nowhere can’t be long
The bridge caught me by surprise. It is beautifully written and I love how the harmonies lift the words ever so gently. Larry Sandman is a poet. The kind of poet, like Poets of the Fall, that make me want to write poetry again. The acoustic guitar envelops the words in a comforting, almost reassuring, kind of way, then the electric guitar at the end brings the heat. Masterfully played, a bit bluesy, it underlines what might be coming. After watching the video, I can say that the choice of guitars is as much telling the story as the words are.
As Larry told me -and I quote- Upside Down “is all about the vocal harmonies. See Marko is a baritone. He’s got that deep low voice. I’m a tenor, I have that old school rock high voice. If you can write a song and match the 2 voices with some harmonies, that’s where you can find the magic.” Mission accomplished sir! We can all agree that magic exist and if I had not been a believer before, I would be one by now.
Larry has an enchanting voice, it is perfect for that kind of song. Now when he sings:
Lights went out, we were born to lose
Then, Lester’s bass drum hits gently bringing in the other instruments, you know… just before the bridge, and this is when I felt the tears begging to come out. The refrain is strong and catchy, which wrapped me in a world that was unfolding in my head. Powerful stuff! This song is so well-balanced with lyrics that put their hooks in my heart, for good or ill.
Soulful and magical, I did not want Upside Down to stop. It is too short though. I am not only talking minute-wise. I wanted the story to continue as it was told with two master voices at the helm. The words seem to be filled with regrets, even sorrow and I would have wished for some light or hope, but I guess it would have defeated the purpose of the album I think… but I will leave it at that for now 🙃.
Upside Down Video
“When you produce a song with more than one voice they have to be different or else it won’t really work. But it’s a gamble honestly. We just tried it out and it worked, so I decided to release it and Marko was so excited as well, sometimes even more than me. So we decided to continue the project with a music video, and there you go!!” – Larry Sandman.
Now, I make no secret of it, I love Miika Hakala’s work. He is quirky enough with his vision of film making to fit my mad-hatter way of thinking. So, I was very excited when I learned he was involved in Larry‘s project. I think I made some kind of victory dance in my apartment when I read the news -fortunately no one was there to see it 😂. Anyway, we’ve all seen photos from the shooting on social media -you’d have notice how diligent they were not to reveal who the mystery guest was until it was time. Teasers perfect!
Speak the truth friends! How many of you got the story in the video? Don’t lie, I know who you are 😂. Well, let me tell you something, there is more than meets the eye in the video. Had you been like me, you’d have followed what Larry was writing in the chat during the premiere… some inkling that the song is part of a bigger story indeed. It all came out of Larry‘s imaginings… Artists 🤭!
The old movie type of filming intensifies the regrets and sorrow I was talking about earlier. It looks peaceful though. There is a feel of uncertain adventure, not so ease-putting and then, the blood… what happened? and what is in that satchel? Secret manuscripts I first thought… it is so dangerous to be creative 😅 No, it is Time, with a big T. (PS: the hourglass is gorgeous! we wants it precious! Just kidding) My mind goes in so many directions between the lyrics and the story that the video is telling. It is genius! The credits at the end, with the Special Thanks are so sweet and heart-warming 💖, and of course the doggo’s photo… if you didn’t notice, you’re no dog lover 😍
You’re in my Blood and you can’t get out…
Miika Hakala said -though I won’t quote it all, because you’ve got to figure some stuff out for yourselves too, that’s part of the fun- “Larry wrote […], all the characters and places etc. Marko and me were merely giving him input. The video we ended up with is just a small chunk of the much larger story he came up with.” This means of course that Miika, you have to make a longer movie! 😂
So back to the premiere’s chat; you have some pretty awesome answers there. As I see it, Miika’s specialty was to create these visual metaphors to bring out the story without divulging too much -I may be wrong of course, as I often am 😅. Just like Miika and Poets, Larry let’s us relate to the song our own way.
Art the way I love it… or Art the way I see it, when it might not be as I see it… so I never get it right, though there are no right or wrong in Art 🙃 It is official, Larry Sandman is yet another artist -that makes 4- who’s managed to mess a little more with my head 🤣.
Thank you Larry!
Final word about Upside Down -for now 😄- execution “de main de maître”. Everything about it makes me hyped about the upcoming album “More Than Free“, to be released on June 21st, 2022. Do NOT miss it!
Follow Larry Sandman on 👇👇👇:
- Facebook @biglarrysandman
- Instagram @the_sandman-_himself
- YouTube @Larry Sandman
- Larry Sandman Official Website
As it turns out, you can also pre-order the album on iTunes 😉 if you can, give Larry some extra support right now, and head over there. Doesn’t prevent us from getting the CD (and hopefully a vinyl) when it is out 😎
If you cannot, you can already listen to Upside Down and other really great songs by Larry Sandman on Spotify and other Streaming platforms.
Until next time friends 🥰
Take care of yourselves,