Corsicana’s “The Torchbearer” is a Poignantly Observed Character Study About Shedding Dysfunctional Habits

Corsicana, photo courtesy the artist

“The Torchbearer” eases in with its gentle melody and introspective spirit. But that’s the way Corsicana has often operated. Setting a contrasting expectation with warm atmospheres and delicate textures and lyrics that offer poignant and soul baring/exposing insights. The titular character is someone who takes on family legacy and trauma needlessly like an adopted burden as part of one’s identity. The song seems to be from the perspective of someone who sees a friend psychically self-mutilating until that friend becomes consumed with the resentment of taking on the responsibility of an unspoken habit as tradition like all of the things held up as this is how we’ve always done things in this family or this culture or this society regardless of how dysfunctional and useless it has always been. But these things can be what gives us a sense of stability and continuity in times of turmoil. But none of these structures are sustainable and the final line of the song “did you catch the light through the cracks?” really articulates how you can see someone you care about cling so stubbornly to a mindset in ways that hurt them no matter what you or anyone else has said until realizations crumble that dubious foundation. The orchestral arrangements with singer and songwriter Ben Pisano on guitar, keys, synths, bass, drums, electronics and production and Darby Cicci adding doleful trumpet are reminiscent of classic Elephant 6 style indiepop. The net effect is a lush pop song that condenses an emotionally complex and sophisticated observation and a full arc of composition in just three minutes thirteen seconds and thus a fine example of economy of style. Listen to “The Torchbearer” on Spotify and follow Corsicana at the links provided.

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Author: simianthinker

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

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