Premiere: Haunted Continents Debuts New Single “On Your Side” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Haunted Continents Debuts New Single “On Your Side”

“On Your Side” Is Out Now

Oct 19, 2021
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Over the past several years, Bronx-based singer/songwriter James A.M. Downes has been active in quite a few lanes. Most recently, he’s been gearing up to release another album as a member of the indie folk trio TEOA (The End of America), but he’s also previously shared a 2017 EP under his own name, and in 2018 he debuted another solo moniker, Haunted Continents. Fresh off of “CAN’T STAY SOBER,” his debut collaborative single with fellow NYC singer/songwriter River Hooks, Downes is back today with another track, “On Your Side,” premiering with Under the Radar.

Listing Jimmy Eat World and Silversun Pickups as inspirations, Downes dives into ‘90s-tinged alt rock on “On Your Side.” Spindly guitar lines and winding melodies create a yearning, searching tone, one matched by the deep empathy at the core of Downes’ lyrics. Downes, inspired by a friend’s experiences with depression, offers a hand of love and support, singing “When it feels like dreaming / The shifting place between / A hand to cope, a tethered rope / Is all I ever need / I’m on your side.”

The track also sees Downes teaming with producer Andy Seltzer (Maggie Rogers, Samia, Chelsea Cutler). As Downes explains, “Andy Seltzer creates amazing scenes with his production - this one feeling like where Pinkerton-era nineties alternative and modern indie pop collide. I love it - that combination feels totally like my Spotify play history.”

He says of the song’s inspirations, “I get a pit in my stomach thinking about how some people just need to hear that someone gives a shit about them, but for whatever reason, they never get that validation. I’ve been lucky - I grew up in a great family, have incredible friends, and I’m married to my best friend, but honestly, I still have epic internal battles for my own self-worth. The result is depression and anxiety, and it can take over and cast everything in shadow. The presence of those demons in my own life has made me very sensitive to other people’s battles.

One of the most painful things is seeing someone you really care about struggle with depression. This song was written for someone I truly care about who, despite their obvious gifts and incredible nature, hates themselves. I just wanted to offer the same energy that I appreciate when it comes my way, “I’m on your side.” I don’t typically write overtly Public Service Announcements-style songs, but I’d be stoked if this song made someone who was feeling fucked up look at themselves and their situation in a brighter light.”

Check out the song and lyric video below, out now.


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