Unreciprocated love… it can happen to even the most beautiful, desirable and luckiest-in-love of us. It’s the sucker punch that keeps on punching; wanting someone who doesn’t want you back is not only unfathomably disappointing and soul-shattering, it can be downright embarrassing (not you driving an hour to see someone who doesn’t always text you back!?). You know the vibes.
Would it make you feel better if you knew that even rock stars can get stuck in the feels like that?
Enter SOJA’s calypso-esque, horn-heavy “The Day You Came”, where lead singer Jacob Hemphill laments that very gut-wrenching, yet great-for-artistic-creation emotion with features and corroborating sentiments, from the sweet, soothing vocals of UB40’s Ali Campbell and Eric Rachmany of Rebelution. This is the third single from SOJA’s unreleased Beauty In The Silence LP and the band’s first album in four years, slated to drop September 24th via ATO Records. Peep the official album pre-order below.
There is a lot to unpack in this song, both sonically and emotionally; so many lines and layers of ‘ouch’ soothed by a peaceful bass line and the echoes of steel drums, it’s hard to know where to begin. First things first are the opening lines, “When you need me you beg me [to] stay // And, when you don’t, you just walk away.” Oof. Nothing stings quite like the active knowledge you’re being used romantically or platonically. Hemphill continues, “And, your shadow is all I see // And, then, you live in my memories”, bringing every single listener back to their own versions of unrequited love, narratives of heartbreak and agonizing reminders of unanswered text messages.
The only thing that can make a bad breakup worse? Two words — another person. In what are perhaps the saddest two lines in the entire song, Rachmany tells a tale as old as time, “When our love was just both of us // Before your heart just went and turned me off”… *Insert crying emoji*. While rebound times vary (time heals all wounds, right??), sometimes all it takes in your heartache recovery journey is the mere mention of the offending party/parties to send you into a full-out emotional breakdown. Crying, questioning, bargaining, concocting alternate reality scenarios in your troubled little noggin to make it all make sense.
And, yet, the desire to see them remains, regardless of the pain caused.
Campbell finishes the song against a faint sprinkling of dub with the last verse, in which he affirms that frustratingly paradoxical nature of love by proclaiming in his buttery-rich voice “and [I] blindly wish that I could see you again”, speaking directly to anyone who’s been hurt and just can’t get enough of it, a.k.a. all of us.
The moral of this story — er, song — is really quite simple: sometimes we fall in love with people who don’t fall in love with us back. And, that’s okay… it makes for incredible artistic and creative fodder. Listen to “The Day You Came” here and on all digital listening platforms today.
Purchase or stream “The Day You Came”single:
SOJA – “The Day You Came”, feat. Rebelution & UB40
Pre-order ‘Beauty In The Silence’ album:
Cover photo by James Lathos