I Wish I Could Fly by LA NEED MACHINE mixes its light and breezy atmosphere, created by layers of guitars and beautiful drumming, with a passionate message about nature and the future of our world.
The track opens with these passionate runs on the electric guitar, bolstered by other strings, which almost work as harmonies, emphasising the detail of the guitar’s delivery. Soon, this electric guitar dissolves into a subtle arpeggiated acoustic guitar, settling into its position in the mix and allowing the vocals to take centre stage. The delivery has a light and sensitive tone. This decision feels dissonant from the severity of the themes of climate change and how I would imagine a black bear to speak. However, I think this more vulnerable take on the creatures affected by climate change allows us to see our effect on them in an honest way. The harmonies are also a nice touch. They allow the vocals to soar with the rich tonal contrast. Lines like “If I could speak, would you listen to me?” further create a sense of connection between us and the animals impacted by our actions. Many people don’t see animals as being capable of judging or perceiving. Because the song gives this creature the power to understand and value our decisions, it makes people more self-aware and ashamed of their effect on the climate. This message is further underscored by “You’re sad for me, but I’m sad for you.” This line puts humans on the back foot in terms of nature. The whole track has this subtle implication that nature judges us. It’s a great reframe of how we traditionally see the natural world - a helpless collection of creatures and ecosystems to feel bad for.
Overall, I Wish I Could Fly is a deceptively complex track about nature judging us. I think its subtle delivery builds its message. The depth of the lyrics inspires change through their confidence and conviction.