The ocean echoes in Brandon Wolf Hill’s single Don’t Leave Me, as if one’s ear is pressed against a seashell filled with beautiful sorrow. A woman’s voice can faintly be heard amongst heavy guitar notes before clearly saying I don’t love you anymore. After, Hill pauses to emphasize the weight of those breathy words.
The drums carry the song forward at a steady and slow BPM. Hill speaks throughout the verse, forming an infectious indie rock-rap blend. A bluesy harmonica resounds in the mix, highlighting the anguish of the speaker as only such a sentimental instrument can. The production style reflects the lyrical subject matter, both appearing as incredibly raw and organic. You can hear every slide on the guitar made by the musician’s fingers creating this naturally fresh sound.
Where’d you go? the speaker repeats in a voice bathed in melancholy. The sounds of the ocean become more symbolic as the song unfolds. The sea (the water, the rain, in general) is a common and fitting metaphor for the vast woe of heartbreak. Like stormy waves, it sinks and suffocates us; however, there simultaneously exists a cleansing quality to rain and water that can even be seen in our own consciousness as we move through the stages of loss and into acceptance. Surviving sorrow truly does make the psyche stronger, even if it takes years. The lyrics reflect progress during the last verse as the speaker openly notes that the world will keep on moving. The song is dismal and deals with difficult circumstances, yet at the same time – it encourages us to live life by every second, and to be in the present moment.
Sometimes memory can feel like a curse, and perhaps it is, but it’s an all too human curse and something of a supernatural blessing. Accepting loss or failure does not mean forgetting it happened, because remembering displays the deepest well of strength, and brings the individual closer to his or her higher self.