Blaze McKenzie on NPR’s Heavy Rotation

Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing


Blaze McKenzie, ‘Think A New Thing’

  • from Born a Shadow

Born A Shadow is the solo debut from Blaze McKenzie, following nearly a decade with Brooklyn indie rockers The Can’t Tells. The Berklee College of Music alumnus says he’s been criticized in the past for being too earnest, but that tendency came in handy when writing “Think a New Thing.” Facing a creative block, McKenzie dipped into what he knows best — his own life. The result has lyrics weaving through a dysfunctional relationship and bouts of drinking, sobriety and relapse. Amid pounding drums and a killer guitar riff, the Oklahoma City native sings about emerging from a period of numbness and the confusion of those early days of sobriety (“But I’m alive now / Am I alive now? / I think that I’m alive now / Yeah, I’m alive now”). A chaotic swirl of sounds and screaming takes hold toward the end of the song, representing the helplessness felt when mistakes seem inevitable. You can call it dread, but it’s also a level of self-awareness that some never attain. — Ryan LaCroix, KOSU