Pep Rally bursts onto the scene with an enigmatic music video for their latest single “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night).” Pep Rally is the brain child of Tommy Joyner, owner of MilkBoy in Philadelphia. MilkBoy is a staple of the burgeoning cultural renaissance in Philadelphia right now. MilkBoy is known for hosting and recording sessions with top artists like Fun. and Miley Cyrus. Its no surprise that Joyner would go on to start Pep Rally after spending so much time cultivating a creative space. “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” keeps the enthusiasm of pop-rock while posing philosophical questions to listeners through poignant lyrics. But its the music video that captures all if the impactful themes of “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” effortlessly. Through irresistible melodies and an intoxicating drum beat that makes you want to throw your hands in the air, “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” is the perfect summer anthem.
What strikes me the most about “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” is the juxtaposition between the lyrics and the melody. There’s something extremely futuristic about “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” as a whole. The melody is polished and crisp, pulling on familiar chords but grounding itself in modernity. The verses are supported by sharp synthesizers and killer chords before things slow down for the chorus. Joyner’s voice seems to cruise through the chorus while adapting to each verse, allowing the lyrics to be front and center. The magic of “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” is the fact that it has such a bright and distinct melody, while the lyrics are extremely though provoking. Throughout “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” Joyner encourages listeners to seize the moment and enjoy all that life has to offer but he does this through an anecdote about the world ending. This not only makes the message clearer but it gives “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” an unmistakable urgency and potency.
What furthers the thought-provoking nature of “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” is Joyner’s relaxed vocals. Its how he sings certain verses and the chorus that make this track so effective. Although thew song gets serious in its mysticism, you still feel comforted and exalted as you listen to it. It’s Joyner’s laid-back performance that imbues “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” with warmth. It never transitions into melancholy, it stays lighthearted and hopeful. Joyner knows when to push his voice too, which makes the third verse so powerful. He sing-speaks the lyrics, “And, here we are, the two last people that you’ve ever seen/And you’re the last woman/And I’m the last man/Would you care to die with me?” The effect is dramatic but poignant, making “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” in a realm of its own.
So much of “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” is about seizing the moment but it also asks listeners if your cup is half full or half empty. In the second verse the lyrics stand out when Joyner croons to us in his laid-back voice, “And if it was the las night on Earth/And we knew we were dying…/Would you hide from the terror?/Or, try to find the silver lining?”. Within posing this kind of question against such an upbeat melody, the message hits even harder. How would you spend your time? Angry and upset? Or, seeing the benefits? Pep Rally weaves this hard-hitting question into a song that encourages its listeners to embrace life. In the video we watch the cheerleaders experience dual realities. In the first one, although the main cheerleader is frustrated by memorizing her cheer routine, she ends up having a good night with her friend. In the other reality her angst gets the best of her and her night turns sour, that’s when Joyner comes in to guide her back to the silver lining.
Pep Rally has created a track you’ll want to blast all Summer long. “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” is a deliciously philosophical track that gets your thought’s moving and makes your heart happy. Is there anything better than that? I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for Pep Rally, I have a feeling they have even more bangers up their sleeve. If you need to be uplifted or reminded that life is good, even when it throws difficulties your way listen to “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night). And if that isn’t enough (and even if it is) make sure to watch the music video too! Check out “Turn The Radio Up (Own The Night)” out now!