John McCabe’s “Lightly” is a Sensitive and Poetic Power Pop Ballad About Childhood Family Heartbreak

“Lightly” finds songwriter John McCabe bringing to bear some intricate yet simple and delicate guitar work to help carry the melody of a song about childhood heartbreak. The call and response vocals help to establish a conversational tone that alleviates some of that pain like you’re getting a sympathetic ear for your hurt and conflicted feelings. Apparently the song is about having to decide between living with one divorced parent or the other at 13 years old and between material comfort in the Midwest or the warm weather and familiarity of San Diego. The countrified power pop sound of the song is the perfect style to allow for McCabe to deliver heavy lines about these decisions with an affection for one’s memories and the tender feelings and sensitivities that come back to you when you revisit that time in your life when nothing seems like a good or easy decision but one people made increasingly from the 1970s forward and while the specific context is the late 70s McCabe makes that deep uncertainty and and those confused feelings resonate for the present time while articulating the nuances and multiple considerations that throw your brain into flux when trying to make an important decision when you’re not quite yet mature and knowledgeable enough to know what the right choice might be and one that will alter the course of your life. Yet, McCabe casts the song in a way that makes whatever decision is made seem like the one that’s going to have to be the best or at least that you’ll end up having to make the best of the consequences. That aspect of the song lends the title a poignant poetic resonance. Listen to “Lightly”on Soundcloud and connect with McCabe at the links provided.

John McCabe on Bandcamp

John McCabe on Instagram


Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

%d bloggers like this: