Times may have been tough last year, but if there was one salvation that brought us through it all, it had to be the power of music. Now, LA-based artist John Lowell Anderson is set to unveil his antidote for those looking to shrug off the winter blues of 2021 with his new delicate track “Four am.”
Citing musical influences such as Phoebe Bridgers and Noah Gundersen, Anderson’s new single offers a soothing snippet of what’s to come in his forthcoming EP All That I Know, out Feb. 12. Anderson recorded “Four am” at Boulevard Recording with producer Tyler Chester (Andrew Bird, Dawes) and engineer/mixer James Krausse. Surprisingly, this was his first time collaborating with a producer, and Anderson mentioned in a press release that, “Tyler’s got a great sense for organic colors to bring into a song that I really craved.”
True to its title, “Four am” was conceived in the wee hours of the morning. “This song was sort of following my stream of consciousness in those moments and the lyrics really poured out from that,” Anderson added. The track opens with tender guitars and piano lines — fit enough to put anyone back to sleep at 4 a.m.! — before Anderson’s vocals come to the fore. Resonances of Bridgers can definitely be felt in his vocal delivery; they’re astute and melancholic but also hopeful all at the same time.
“If I could, I would / Send you the time / But it’s cold / And your words keep me warm.” Anderson uses the verses to depict some of the more romantic notions in the track like being so lost with someone that time becomes completely irrelevant. However, in the chorus sections, Anderson highlights some of the darker themes of longing and insecurity that also come with being up in the early hours: “I’d say that I’m fine / But I’m not… / Where are you tonight?”
In all, “Four am” is an evidently personal track, yet it resonates with the lives of so many others. Not everyone has the picture-perfect sleeping routine nailed down, for reasons good or not so good, and Anderson portrays both these dynamics gently, with a lush sonic soundscape for accompaniment.