Singled Out: Mighty Brother's Weighed Down

Keavin Wiggins | 02-20-2023

Singled Out: Mighty Brother's Weighed Down Album art

New Orleans indie-rockers Mighty Brother recently released an AI-generated music video for "Weighed Down" from their new album "Azimuth", and to celebrate we asked Nick Huster and Ari Kirkman about the song. Here is the story:

Ari: "Weighed Down" took on many shapes before we arrived at the final version. I think I wrote the opening lick and some lyrics back in December 2019. It was in 4/4 then, and we went back and forth about which parts of the song were in the odd time signature almost up to the day we went into the studio if I remember right. I dug up some early voice memo recording from December 2019 that was going in a real strummy, folk direction, but a loop I made in March 2020 using a vocoder and synth sounds straight out of Porcupine Tree's repertoire (Take It On Yourself (Dec. 2019) and Take It On Yourself (Mar. 2020))

Thematically, I think the opening chanting speaks to a lot of religious trauma I experienced as a closeted teen, oppression that certainly limited my growth and left me pretty jaded. That's not my entire perspective on organized religion, or course, and the rest of the song we really expanded upon that idea of breaking the chains that limit your self-expression and actualization.

Nick: We start most of our songs individually, but they don't become Mighty Brother songs until we sit down together and co-write on them. We were on a songwriting retreat working on our latest record, Azimuth, when Ari introduced this song to me. We had a great time looping the groove in the verses and chatting about how both musically and lyrically we wanted the song to present a character kind of breaking free of the chains holding them down, the expectations or social pressure keeping them from pursuing their goals. We settled on keeping the chorus kind of dark and broody, even leaning into some hard-rock tropes, to represent those voices of doubt, and then a bright verse where a solo voice sings out lyrics of breaking away from familiarity in pursuit of their dreams.

The title "Weighed Down" centers around that theme of the chains that hold you back, but we also enjoyed how it could be misheard as "Way Down" as we presented imagery of a tower, spiral staircases, a town, a port, and finally a character setting out on a nautical adventure. This all plays into the greater story of the concept album that is Azimuth but we'll leave you with that as just a teaser.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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Singled Out: Mighty Brother's Weighed Down

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