Haunted Like Human Speak Truth to Power with “Soothsayer”
Haunted Like Human combat injustice and the flickering darkness that threatens to engulf us with their single “Soothsayer.”
From Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan to Simon and Garfunkel, there is a long tradition of folk musicians holding up a mirror to injustice through their music. Nashville’s Haunted Like Human joins this steadfast tradition with the first single off their upcoming album, “Soothsayer.”
Like most folk artists, Cody Clark and Dale Chapman, the duo that forms Haunted Like Human, are talented storytellers that champion the best of the human experience while illuminating its tribulations. Never have they turned their powers as raconteurs on injustice as sharply in their music as they have here though. “Soothsayer” is a passionate mixture of acoustic guitar, bass, strings, percussion and voice that propel their message of warning to the powers of injustice plaguing contemporary America. While they, like true artists, never name said powers directly, it is easy to infer to whom they are referring to, and it’s not just one individual or movement. As Cody explained to me in reference to the song’s tone, “ The song itself is very much relating to the political situation in the US at the moment.”.
“You know there’s a flickering darkness/And it sings out like sirens to you/It’s sickly sweet and elegantly violent/But these debts that you take they will someday come due” sings Dale in a husky voice that comes across more sorrowful than seductive as she relays the dangerous attractiveness of the metaphorical “flickering darkness” that so many are blindly reaching out to right now. The image of “flickering darkness” brings to mind the phrase “no light, but darkness visible” that Milton used to describe the Hell of his epic Paradise Lost and the connotation is profound. For what else is the flickering darkness of hate and violence other than hellish?
The mournfulness of the imagery in “Soothsayer” is balanced out by the urgency of its music. The clarion call of the strings and bass that support Dale’s chorus meld into a soothing, yet haunting, break where Cody and Dale’s sorrowful but hopeful voices intermingle and become a wail of awakening and warning. Their voices seem to reveal that although there is plenty of injustice in our society and politics right now, the might of our combined voices can break through and at least bring said injustice to light through an honest acknowledgement of it.
“Soothsayer” is available for streaming at Paste Magazine now and will be available on streaming platforms everywhere on November 20th. You can also help fund their upcoming album Tall Tales and Fables on Kickstarter.