Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Wyatt Funderburk - "November"/"You'll Know"

When it comes to the modern-day power pop scene, there's no songwriter more underrated than Wyatt Funderburk. As a solo artist, songwriting collaborator with Kurt Baker, and front man for the amazing Second Saturday, he has been responsible for some of the most extraordinary pop songs of the past two decades. It has been a long time (a decade to be precise) since he last released solo material, but a new album titled Fleeting and Finite is slated for release next year. In advance of the new album, Funderburk has chosen to release two of its tracks as a digital single. Both songs tease a more accomplished, beautiful pop sound from this veteran tunesmith. 

"November" is exactly what it seems to be — an ode to the very month we're experiencing now and the powerful sensations it elicits. There's a certain feeling that's in the air on a later fall day, and "November" evokes it beautifully. The song is soft and soothing with very pretty melodies and vocals. The vibe is something akin to Big Star meets Brian Wilson, and I'll take that all day long. Speaking of Brian Wilson, Funderburk goes full-on Pet Sounds on the gorgeous ballad "You'll Know." This is a song about what it's like to fall in love. Now clearly that's a topic that has been tackled tens of thousands of times in the world of pop music. Nine times out of ten, a song like this might come off as oversentimental, cliched, or contrived. But Funderburk absolutely nails it, crafting a song that's as beautiful and breathtaking as the experience it celebrates. "You'll Know" reflects on that moment when you realize this person has been on the earth your whole life yet you're just now getting to meet them. As Funderburk says, "It seems unfair and also like winning the lottery." That's so dead-on. I've been known to get teary-eyed over a Wyatt Funderburk song (e.g. "What If" & "If I Wanted Easier"!), but "November" is at a whole other level. This is pure chills — like somehow Funderburk got into my head and extracted magical memories I could never do justice to with words. Of course Funderburk is a master of pop melody and a magician with harmonies. But perhaps his greatest talent is that he manages to write about love in way that is real and relatable and straight from his heart. 

Funderburk's talents as a vocalist, musician, songwriter, and producer all shine on these two tracks. Working with drummer Todd Patton, Funderburk is practically a one-man orchestra, playing everything from guitar to piano to synthesizer to Glockenspiel. He's in total control of his artistic vision, and it's no surprise that both of these songs are so beautifully realized. Having had this little taste of Fleeting and Finite, I expect the album to be nothing short of stunning. I just noticed that you can purchase Funderburk's full digital discography on Bandcamp for less than $13. That is a deal and a steal. If you love great pop, do yourself a favor and take advantage.

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