Narcan Summer is an incredibly touching and powerful song by Free Country, also known as Jason Ribadeneyra. It concerns the death of his younger brother, and several of his friends, due to the opioid crisis in America. It’s a beautiful lo-fi piece of music that deserves to be heard and is a favourite here at Independent Music News.
As a UK resident, it’s shocking when you hear about the tragedies that befall other parts of the world, and yet it still seems relatively distant. I’ve heard stories about the opioid epidemic many times, and it’s insane how many communities have been flooded with it. It’s easy to see various stats and figures on the internet and be moved, yet when you hear a personal account, it brings these things home in a more substantial and heart-breaking way. The only time I’ve ever seen my father cry was at the funeral of his brother, and he described the pain to me once. I feel as though Narcan Summer is a window into this world.
Musically, it’s an impressive piece of work, with a bedroom-made quality that only enhances the lyrical content. Reminiscent of the best parts of Elliott Smith and Eels, this is a song that has been stuck in my head since I first heard it.
Free Country has a genuine, earnest quality to his songwriting ability, and I think that’s something valuable in our all-too-often cynical world. Narcan Summer is the lead single from his upcoming EP, The Life Of Riley, and I can’t wait to hear more.