Personally, I have to say it is great to have The Honeyrunners back! It has been a long time since the release of their EP’s 1 and 2, there is probably a story for their time away, but the main thing is they have returned. Not only that, but Dan Dwoskin (keys, lead vocals), Guillermo Subauste (bass, vocals), Conor Gains (electric guitar, vocals) and Lewis Spring (drums, vocals) have returned with their debut album, Everything is on Fire. It is a collection of songs they say, “disrobe our culture of apathy – a sentiment that everything is always on fire, with nothing to do but watch”.
When talking about the new album, frontman Dwoskin says, “We write songs for the times we need them. This record was born of the love, fear, and insecurity of being a new Father. The music was years in the making, honed during a gap between the original Honeyrunners roster and a new lineup of musicians joining the band between 2018 and 2020. We started with twenty-five songs and trimmed it down to nine, crafting a front-to-back listen with a potent story”.
One of the main reasons that The Honeyrunners stand out is because of their sound. This side of their songwriting is clear to hear from the opening track “Run & Hide”. A punchy acoustic guitar and subtle beats set the scene for Dwoskin to deliver the opening lines “Did you remember to check for snakes / Shake the trees and watch your face / Did you remember lock yourself inside / Go run and”. During the verses, both he and the band are a little restrained but get more freedom during the hook “Go run & hide /This wolf inside I / Let it out / He’s wearing my skin and it’s a full moon tonight”.
The opening track may have offered a blend of sounds, but the band has more to showcase. Songs such as “Those Eyes” deliver a different side of the band, with a delicate stripped back vibe. It is soft on the ears, with Dwoskin’s vocals being in great form as they are during the energetic “Mixtape”. Its subtle beats are infectious and are used to deliver its killer hook “There’s no more time left on it / Rewind way back to the blues / This tape cassette is haunted / It was a mixtape for you”.
As mentioned earlier, Dwoskin catches a lot of people’s attention with his talents behind the mic. “Everything is on Fire” offers another moment in which his talent steals the spotlight. The group opens up with a soft intro with the subtle use of beats and guitars. When the chorus arrives, there is something special about his delivery of “Everything is on fire / Everything is on fire / Everything is on fire / Let it burn, it’s the ashes that I admire”. After that, the band changes things up with a funky mood but soon slows things back down. It creates a rollercoaster of a soundtrack that adds so much to this compelling track.
There is more to The Honeyrunners than their sound. They also have a great way with words. We know they can create infectious hooks, but they are great storytellers too. The perfect example of this is the track “Ghosts”. Its whispering delivery of “The ghosts in the walls whisper things only I can hear” instantly catches the listeners attention. The upbeat vibe sets the platform for their wordplay to shine. They paint so many scenes with lines such as “The light in the street flickers off to the beat, and I can’t sleep / Oh, I can’t sleep / It reminds me that these are the things that I just can’t keep / Oh, I just can’t keep”. It’s a fun song that has you singing along even after it ends.
Everything is On Fire delivers another showing of the depth in sound which The Honeyrunners have to offer
Everything is on Fire offers many different sides to the band. Personally, I think they are at their best when they hit their soulful groove, a trait that makes “Honeymoon” a stunning moment from the album. It is not about what you hear but what it makes you feel. It is a credit to the soundtrack laid down by the band and Dwoskin’s vocals.
From beginning to end, it is a song that oozes soul. Some lines stand out more than others. These include, “How many times do we have to cheat death to make this moment worth it? / Or are we bored, a little sore with ourselves? I just can’t help myself”. The delivery of these lines is stunning, with Dwoskin at his best. He also excels yet again with the delivery of the chorus “Driving back through the woods / Late night, up to no good / Treasure box, rock ‘n’ roll / The two of us and the radio /Summer breeze, sand dunes / You and I, honeymoon”. It is another great moment from Everything is on Fire. Another reason why you need to give this album a listen today.