Hailing from Nashville, Tenn., Afterlife Parade was born with one concept in mind: death. Singer/songwriter Quinn Erwin realized that all too often, the event of death is drenched in sadness rather than a celebratory event of the life of the deceased. This initial thought led to Afterlife Parade’s first part of a two-part concept, “Death.” The juxtaposition of celebrating life through death is beautifully portrayed throughout the entirety of Erwin’s EP.
Erwin’s tone is twinged with a feeling of yearning, but not enough to overshadow the purpose of “Death.” Self described as “deep, dark, and atmospheric,” each of the seven tracks touches upon an aspect of death. Despite the heavy description, Erwin stays true to the reason Afterlife Parade was created and discusses death for what it is, rather than letting a feeling of depression overtake the music.
In Nothing But Love Can Stay, Erwin sings, “though earthquakes roar underneath, and mountains crumble in seas; though the winds may level cities; when it all burns away, nothing but love can stay.” He discusses the destructive manner of these tragedies, but points out that something much stronger than all of those disasters survives. Pretty heavy stuff for the old iPod, but music is meant to evoke a deeper emotion. Props to Erwin for not being afraid to chip away at the listener’s personal experiences through singing about his own.
I couldn’t recall if I had ever heard any songs about death that were triumphant and celebratory…so I made it my mission to write one.
Tied with Nothing But Love Can Stay for the top song on the EP is Simple. While “Death” as a whole clearly communicates Erwin’s talent, Simple allows him to showcase his vocal control in jumping from full voice to his falsetto. All volume levels – loud, soft and moderate – of his voice mirror an individual’s emotional vulnerability while going through a deeply personal experience. Simply put, the song turns raw emotion into music.
Produced by Jeremy McCoy of The Fray, “Death” was released on January 31, 2011. The sister EP, “Rebirth,” is due to be released in summer of 2011. This two-part EP concept humanizes life through the experiences every individual must encounter: life and death.
Click here to learn more about Afterlife Parade.
Nothing But Love Can Stay:
Death: (shout out to the guitar line)