“TV Screen” by Campbell Waldron
“TV Screen” starts off with a stirring melancholy guitar that’s here to ask you “well, what’s the point?” A grunge aesthetic song that has the trappings of ennui and cynicism is hardly anything new but musician Campbell Waldron infuses it with a distinct perspective, one that comes from his turbulent life as an aspiring player that’s been plagued by dozens of setbacks that have even at points left him as a homeless user and part time drug dealer. Waldron certainly has the makings of an iconic rock story.
Inspired to play after watching a tape of Led Zeppelin live, his passion to learn various genres and master expressing them has only been clipped by that of those who’ve disappointed him over the years ranging from teachers to friends, leaving him dejected and jaded. This is all immediately on display with his recent release. What sets this track apart from the rest to me is for one, we don’t often hear this sound as authentically aching as Waldron croons lines about not caring anymore, desperate to find answers to make sense of the chaos and a rousing hatred for those who’ve sullied any chances of finding peace. Even without knowing Waldron’s background, you can tell this comes from a very real place, and I suspect it’ll resonate with many during these especially difficult times we’re living through. I find it pleasantly ironic that a throwback track to the past is loaded with such contemporary ideas.
Waldron keeps things matter of fact even within the production which is a simple approach of electric guitar, drums and some well executed uses of echo and distortion. One of the only downsides however, is that sometimes the mixing of the tracks can make the instrumentals just a little too loud, making his lyrics sometimes indecipherable, but it’s mainly relegated to the lead into the chorus. I think many will enjoy it’s breezy but layered production without feeling like it’s a song that you can’t just casually play. It’s nice to see how much restraint Waldron has as a producer, but sometimes I feel like that’s also relegated to his lyrics which I feel given how maturely he’s expressing these feelings, could have cut a little deeper beyond the apparent personal misgivings that do come across as universal.
Waldron opens the song with the “This is my TV screen, hope you can see my dreams and I’m not afraid anymore” and it’s clearly a statement about the song himself and how after multiple years of feeling isolated and let down by many around him, Waldron is relying on himself to present his ideas and feelings. You can feel the weight of how even now Waldron is at war with himself with a condemnation of drug dealing as those who want to kill your brain and it’s refreshingly bold in its honesty. I hope moving forward, Waldron continues to dig inward and hopefully find a stronger way to balance his personal experiences with those that are universal, without feeling like he’s holding back. The talent is here, and it’s proudly on display and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
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