The fourth song on Grape Soda’s debut, “Obvious Signs,” has a line that stands out each time I hear the band play live, simply because singer/organist Mat Lewis always makes sure to turn and deliver it directly to the audience. He sings, “We all should be dancing/ So why aren’t you dancing?/ Everyone is dancing; you’re the only one not dancing,” and it feels like he’s calling you out.
That line has stuck with me after every show, even as my memory of other lyrics and other melodies has faded. With each new show the songs have gotten more familiar, their distinct elements resurfacing—a certain organ part, a certain drumbeat. And when, inevitably, that lyric about dancing comes up, it turns what had been a nebulous feeling of familiarity into one of recognition; passive listening and passive enjoyment give way to a certainty about the band that each new song bears out.
Form a Sign constantly offers what a live show can give only fleetingly: confirmation that brothers Mat and Ryan Lewis are a force, their songs brilliant, their delivery near-flawless. The organ’s harmony grounds you while the drums’ rhythm propels you forward and the singer’s melody soars. This is elemental pop music. Play it again and again.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.