Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Scott Goldbaum has shared the second from his debut EP Protector with “Mourning Coffee,” he will also be playing at the Hotel Cafe on Friday, Dec. 2. This is the first release from Goldbaum — formerly the frontman of Forebear, Wise Cub, and The Harm — in five years. Apart from the sonorously lush lead single “Drive Too Fast.” And just like that first preview, the two biggest fixations of Goldbaum’s music seem to be the one-two emotional gut punch carried by his soft croons and lamenting instrumentals.
In “Mourning Coffee,” that melancholy stems from both within and without, as Goldbaum struggles to reconcile the turmoil in the world with some normalcy at home. Over the winding twang of guitar strings and a somber folk medley, he chips away at what he calls the “distinction between codependency and partnerships that are chosen and decisively cared for” while everything else seems to be chaos and despair. “I wish I could navigate the world,” Goldbaum coos desperately. Yet the song’s chorus finds some hope in the partnership that keeps him afloat: “If we are done for / I suppose / We’ll hold on / Cause we’re all we’ve got.”
The visualizer for “Mourning Coffe,” created by Britt Devandry, playfully but no less poignantly gets at the heart of the song’s fluctuations between paralyzing dread and tenacious hope. In it, a cricket dressed in a green coat and orange pants sits on a park bench reading a newspaper. All is bleakly black and white until a blurry figure strolls over, bringing with them some burgeoning saturation and technicolor. As the song continues, the cricket starts to become more blurry as the coffee-sipping lion comes more sharply into focus — until it’s no longer a colorlessly gloomy morning but a sunny field of flowers.
“Sunlight for your wounds / Almost calming and curious,” are the words from the song that comes to mind. “Like any dawning is / That stretches into doom.” And that peculiarly paradoxical but beautiful sentiment is what makes Goldbaum’s songwriting so compelling. Intimately attached as they are to the tenuous fine lines between the things that weigh on our hearts and the things that keep them beating.
See Scott Goldbaum at the Hotel Cafe on December 2 for his EP release show.
Words by Steven Ward
Watch the music video for “Mourning Coffee” the new single from Scott Goldbaum below!