Skip to main content

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: Ethos, “V: Parents”


Ethos is the stage name for Alex Hlavna, a 19-year veteran of the Cleveland, Ohio music scene where he played guitar, bass, and drums on numerous recordings. He has now released his own song entitled “V: Parents” from his new album Ten Commandments. The V is the Roman numeral for 5, as in the 5th Commandment: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” 

Each track on the album is titled this way, named after a commandment. Is this some type of “religious rap” or is Ethos being metaphoric? The actual definition of “ethos” is “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.” Judging from such a moniker and from statements he’s made in interviews, it seems his goal is more about making observations, rather than instructing us that “thou shalt not whatever.” It’s a more provocative approach.

The song is a funk-bassline over an electronic beat and soft synths. Meanwhile Ethos’ voice is anything but soft as he raps about honoring your parent, yet entwined in the coils of contemporary concerns, such as divorce, disillusionment, and modern media distractions. When he switches to singing during the chorus, Ethos’ voice is a surprisingly smooth baritone. The soft synths later change into rapid dance notes. Without question, it’s a cool song.

Though called “Parents,” the track is mainly about his father. Ethos raps that “one day you woke up and made it walk through the door and now in the arms of a woman you never met before, you never met before…” Then later: “Oh hey, what’s a Dad? I had two..” Apparently his father has made some mistakes.

There are upsides though: “The purpose of divorce is so that we can converse like we never could…” Ethos’ voice and lyrics carry a hint of hurt, but he still empathizes with the difficulties his father must have experienced. “I would like to dedicate this song to you, Dad. I still love you…” 

No parent is perfect, but there is a natural resentment towards moments where they might have fallen short. “We don’t want our kids to make the same mistakes, but we keep on keeping on making them. / Monkey see, monkey do. / Yeah, I’m talking to you…” 

Ethos soon lays down some poignant advice for the other dads out there: “Keep your kids accountable / Let them think for themselves / Don’t let them be a dick…” Wise words. No one should want to raise a kid who’s a dick.

Fortunately, it seems Hlavna’s father has definitely managed that much.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: Micheal Bruner, "Midst of a Mistake"

By Michael Bruner Getting tendinitis was surely a setback, but it also proved to be a positive constraint, an evolution in my approach to music. Instead of contorting my hand into a tense, fleshy spider, I did what felt best: Forcing my head and body to meet halfway. I kept writing. I finished the song “Midst of a Mistake,” inspired by a thieving taxi driver in China. I wanted to start producing this song, but I knew the audio production and editing would prove too strenuous to pull off single-handedly.  Just a few weeks after returning from China, I received a message from Rodrigo Cotelo. I’d met him at the first installment of a house show I performed at (shortly after the onset of my tendinitis). He accompanied a handful of talented Jacob’s students who had backed me up on a set of my original songs. I knew Rod and I would click with each other from the moment I found him sitting at a table, pouring a gourd of yerba maté. Rod’s lively spirit, carefree attitude, and co

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: MemoCrasher, “Burn”

One gander at their social media presence and it’s not hard to see what aesthetic the rock band MemoCrasher is aiming for. They’re an evening at the Satanic circus where mostly nude, Harlequin-style dominatrix chicks grin maniacally while juggling fire.  The music video for their single “Burn” (below) starts with a top-hated, sinister ringleader informing us that we’re being presented with “a world of sex and violence where war rages as humanity peers over the precipice of doom where all blood is shed and no flowers bloom…” Love it already. While there’s always a place in the music world for the Justin Beibers and Taylor Swifts, we absolutely need bands like this to keep the evil in rock. (Part of being a well-adjusted person is accepting your dark side, no?) Less than a minute into the video, the shock value is intense. Sitting at each five points of a burning pentagram are five evil figures from history. There’s Hitler with a burned face because, you know, he was burned