Bostonian indie favorites Air Traffic Controller are thrilled to release their latest music video for “Anybody Got A Light?”, the latest from November’s Dash.
With its timely anthemic style, “Anybody Got A Light?” is an appropriate song for the moment. Having entered a “post-pandemic” world, the song offers a feeling of recovering from lost hope, like sparks in your soul. Air Traffic Controller attempted to maintain the line between becoming a cliche and confronting a widely known issue head on with “Anybody Got A Light?”. The COVID-19 lockdown of Spring and Summer of 2020 represents a completely unique moment in time in which nearly everyone on the planet faced the same problem. As the news changed daily, fear, loss, and boredom were a revolving mindset, but so was hope, that shimmered and dimmed. Despite the cliche that may follow some songs directly about this subject, the Bostonian indie favorites avoided it here with this “pandemic song”.
When describing the track in more detail, Dave Munro writes: “During the summer of 2021, there was one particular period where it felt like the pandemic had ended, and it was time to celebrate. Our world was back, only for a moment, after playing an outdoor show for a wild unmasked crowd. In my search for a lyric, I found that feeling of excitement accompanied by anxiety. I have a fellow Boston singer-songwriter friend named Will Dailey whose album is called “Back Flipping Forward ”. Eventually, I’ll find out what he meant, but I imagined looking back at darker days and doing a back flip, but forward on a path toward an uncertain but hopeful future – a light.”
“Anybody Got A Light?” was recorded live by producer Dan Cardinal with Seth Kasper & Air Traffic Controller at Dimension Sound Studio in Boston. Dan’s approach, after hearing Dave Munro play it solo acoustic, was to record it live quickly and not overthink it. “It’s funny how the only song we didn’t obsess over ended up being our favorite,” Dave Munro says.
In the track’s music video, Air Traffic Controller maintained that lo-fi spirit. Video director Tyler Armstrong suggested approaching the title in a literal sense. With a flick of a magic lighter, a mysterious character transforms less fortunate lives into happier ones. These stories are told through TVs playing in the dark and all of the acting is done by the band, like in an early MTV video. On one of the TVs, the band is “performing” on the roof of their rehearsal space in Charlestown MA.
As Air Traffic Controller’s lineup has been going through some big changes (enter Bobby Borenstein and Emi McSwain), creating this song and video served as a much-needed retreat and bonding experience. In light of the song’s theme of surviving in a changed world, this is a fitting conclusion. “Filming this video amplified my faith in this group and our future. I truly believe we have a lot more to accomplish together.” writes Dave Munro.
At a time when everything was uncertain, making music together gave Air Traffic Controller a bit of control. ATC will always want our listeners to think about their own lives and feel empowered.
Throughout Dash, Air Traffic Controller reflect on past and dig into the present for their eager listeners, and perhaps fans of just about anything from Fleetwood Mac and REM to The Flaming Lips or Harry Styles.
Featuring Boston producer Dan Cardinal (Darlingside, Henry Jamison, Josh Ritter, Ballroom Thieves), with Seth Kasper and Air Traffic Controller, the new album was recorded in Dimension Sound Studios. It wasn’t about matching up with past Air Traffic Controller albums, or to meet expectations. Instead, the group’s formulas were often set aside to allow each member to bring their own style.