Track Premiere: Halogens – ‘Buckle’

Posted: by The Editor

Halogens is alternative rock built on the best parts of folk rock, tricking you into liking folk rock, which is incredible. We’re psyched to premiere the Jersey four piece’s newest single, “Buckle,” which is the prime example of Halogens style, with its slide guitar leads and constance of bass notes before the chords, a strum pattern very prevalent in folk music. The song is the second single off their upcoming EP, “Happy Hour,” out 2/22. “Buckle” is very personal and sorrowful, and the complexity and dynamic of the song is paired extremely well with the simple animation of the video, which depicts a figure walking into the sun as it sets; a great metaphor to the central theme of the track. Listen below:

I got a chance to ask Halogens a few questions about the song, as well as about the new release:

The Alternative: What separates “Happy Hour” from the previous, self-titled release?

Zach Henry: Lyrically and instrumentally, there’s been a lot of growth and maturity since our self-titled. I think this release is a huge improvement and we’re all so proud of what we created.

George Saives: One of the main differences between the two EP’s is that with “Happy Hour”, we really took our time to tweak the songs to be written exactly how we wanted them to sound before going into the studio. With the self titled EP, it was our first time recording in a studio setting, and we definitely went in a lot less prepared than we were for “Happy Hour”. Another major difference between the two releases are the stylistic risks we took on the new record, whereas with the self titled we played it very safe because we wanted to fit into the emo / pop-punk circuit. We’ve collectively grown a lot as songwriters and musicians since the last record, and I think that gave us the confidence to really step out of our comfort zones and write a record that doesn’t necessarily fit into the emo / pop punk niche.

The record has a deprecatingly weighted narrative, but “Buckle” in particular holds a lot of remorse and longing. What’s the motivation behind this track?

Zach: “Buckle”, pretty bluntly, deals with my dad’s death and the regret i felt afterwards. Our relationship had been almost non existent for most of my life, because of demons he dealt with and my inability to forgive. After he died I was overwhelmed with regret, and beat myself up everyday for never being mature enough to reach out in an attempt to fix whatever problems we had.

Was it cathartic, or difficult to write something so personal?

Zach: At first, writing “Buckle” kind of sucked to be honest. It touches on how neither of us tried our best to fix our issues, because we always assumed that there was more time. Everyone always assumes that there’s more time. It hurt so much to actually say all these things out loud and really begin to understand that I missed my chance to make amends with the only dad I’ll ever have. What got to me even more, was that I was basically writing this song to say sorry to him, but knowing he’ll never hear it. As difficult as it was, it was something I needed to do. I needed to say sorry somehow and get that off my chest, and writing songs is typically how I do that.

The video is very pleasant, and ties in well with the animated aesthetic you’ve been encapsulating with this release? Any comment on what inspired this art style/video direction?

George: I don’t think there was ever a conscious decision for the art direction to end up the way it did for the album. We knew that we wanted a disco ball with a party hat for the album artwork and that was it. We worked with Chris Wills Flannery for the album artwork and all of the related promo materials, and he absolutely blew away all of our expectations. We gave Chris pretty much 100% creative control to do whatever he wanted with the related artwork, so I have to give most of the credit to him for how well the art direction ended up pairing with the music. Our friend Nigel Whitley created the animations for the Buckle video, and he worked with Zach to handwrite the lyrics which gives it a really personal touch. At first I hated the idea of a lyric video, but working with Nigel really eased my concerns and at the end of the day, we’re all so happy with how the video turned out.

Make sure you check out Halogens new EP, “Happy Hour,” out on 2/22!

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Luciano Ferrara | @LucianoRFerrara

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