Song Review: Joe Banfi – Nomads


Written by Sara Parker

Nomads … we are going on a journey. By the sounds of it through an Eastern wilderness while Joe sings metaphorically about a struggling relationship, maybe?

“Nomads” starts with an introduction that is as exciting as the eastern delight that is hinted at. The music gives you a sense of anticipation – what’s going to happen?  Guitar chords enhance this sense.

The song starts with his plead ‘Please don’t let those, please don’t let those, boys fight’. Guitar chords and drumbeats increase the momentum gradually and take us to the start of this lyrical journey.  Is Joe talking about a Brother? The EP artwork would suggest so.

We are wandering through the wilderness searching in a metaphorical sense. Steady beats allow the story to be told.  Not overpowering the main message of the verse.  While the guitar chords follow the melody of Joe’s voice. Echoing his tone.

“We must brave this winter. Won’t survive alone.

My blindness is their burden. And they want to cut me lose.

You cannot bear to tell me. You just hold me in your arms.

They whispered as they left me. Thought I was asleep…

Brother, you thought I was asleep”

Faster drumbeats ensue, more emotive wailing, giving a sense of desperation.  He goes on to say:-

“I became the weather, cold and dark, unrelenting…….always searching for you”.

Meanwhile the music demonstrates a rhythmic pounding like a lone horse galloping through the landscape helping Joe to look for his brother.

“I found you after sunrise. They all tried to fight.

Their bodies lay beneath me. And still I wasn’t done.

I know why you left me. Brother I will do the same.

Your people are with me now….And they whisper as you sleep….”

Joe appears to use an echo-like backing voice to reinforce his statement ‘they all tried to fight’ and ‘and still I wasn’t done’ – pattered to the early verse.

As the song develops the journey is getting more arduous for Joe.  The rhythm increases, the wailing lasts longer, the drumbeat is stronger.  There are beautiful chords throughout.  Interwoven piano notes and wind sounds give a sense of atmosphere, together with Joe’s emotive waling and haunting tone. It then falls back to a softer rhythm, and ends how it began.. “please don’t let them, please don’t let them, boys fight”.

An alluring and emotional record and one that will continue to grow on you with each listen.  Every time you hear it, you will pick out different flavours of the song and hear more meaning and in depth searching.  Interpret it as you like.  This song could resonate with anyone of us who may be struggling in any relationship.  Comparing the nomad theme to be lost in life, and searching for meaning, substance or contented relationships.  Music can be interpreted in many different ways, and “Nomads” is just one interpretation.

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