It’s the year 2023, and the age of ironic, self-aware sarcasm in music seems to be fading into the rearview like a night time neon skyline. If there was ever a time for a callback to a more earnest and vulnerable vibe to music – pop, rock or otherwise – it’s now, and Jackson Reed and The Silverbirds are here to answer that call.
“In My Head” is a smooth, refined, and heartfelt ballad, one that feels as timeless as it does vintage. Frontman Jackson Reed’s decisive delivery is backed by warm harmonies and a subtle Rhodes synth, a sonic bedrock that marries a purely nostalgic form of pop and rock with an emotional frankness that resists the most alienating elements of 21st century life.
The production is simple, yet fully considered in its sonic resonance, and the sparse arrangement leaves ample space for listeners to dig in and feel the vocal hooks and delicate, muted guitar line. Sunny synth stabs, pointed tom fills, and a hypnotic drum machine beat further integrate the tune’s remarkable dichotomy of old and new, like a wizened descendant of the Boys of Summer peppered with touches of tropical house. This idiosyncratic blend makes “In My Head” equally at home in a Gen Z Spotify playlist or as the backdrop to an 80s style movie montage.
Along with his Silverbirds, Jackson Reed represents a new wave of rock, one ready to face the future armed with the best aspects of earlier musical generations. The Calgary group has made early waves not just by collaborating with drummer Kenny Aronoff, a studio veteran with experience backing John Cougar, Bob Seger, and Willie Nelson, but by creating podcast content with guests from across classic rock and pop history. Well received live performances in Atlanta and Nashville bode well for not just the group in general, but for the success of “In My Head” as a hit single.