Brendan Kelly, frontman for the Falcon — Chicago-based side-project of Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, and the Lawrence Arms — is not opposed to hillbilly bars, he’ll have you know, even though an unnamed one acts as cheeky lyrical fodder in “The Unicorn Odyssey,” the second single from forthcoming debut, Unicornography (out Sept. 26). But despite references to this kitschy tavern, the themes in the ska-infused, pop-punk song aren’t flippant, the singer asserted while on the road traveling through Colorado. Rather, the lyrically melancholy track is an exploration of Kelly’s process of maturation, since, as he told SPIN.com, it “reflects on three different periods in my life as represented by three people I haven’t seen in a really long time. At [these] different stages of my life, I’ve felt like a totally different guy.”
The song traces Kelly’s path from childhood to adolescence to the early stages of adulthood, and it’s title is based on this trajectory — sort of. The moniker “The Unicorn Odyssey” came about as an accident when, randomly, someone said the phrase, which was immediately dismissed as laughable. But Kelly reflected on it more, determining it an appropriate description for the then-unnamed song: “It’s fitting because the whole song is an odyssey, a journey through my formative years,” Kelly said, adding that the people in the song are like unicorns, or mythical creatures since they no longer exist in his life.
Still, Kelly refuses to take the song too seriously, and he’s hardly shy about reflecting on its goofy aspects. “When we were doing the ooos from the chorus, we were all laughing because we were a little tipsy and we just came to the conclusion the chorus is a little silly,” the singer said. “But if that bullshit chorus on [Gerry Rafferty’s] ‘Baker Street’ can be the chorus of a song, then anything can.”
Now Hear This:
The Falcon – “The Unicorn Odyssey” (Download MP3)
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