Protest anthems today strike a unique balance between music and message, avoiding excessive preachiness. Some, like 'Möbius Trip' by American quintet 'Jelly Bread,' excel in both musical skill and protest theme creativity, making them timeless and genre-defying standouts. Written in the key of C# minor, Möbius Trip is a masterfully arranged and thunderously performed number that encompasses the realms of funk, R&B, and jazz. The lyrical themes which it aims to expound – namely fake news and fact-checking, social media, and corruption in politics among others – is done neatly, thanks in no small part to the usage of real vocal samples of political speeches and the simultaneous banter of the newsreaders, all placed at the right juncture, so as to make sense both lyrically as well as musically. The opening itself starts with the various newsreaders’ banter underneath the hi-hat and the bass’s thick timbre, enough to arrest the listener’s attention, before the cool and spacious sounding chords of the keyboard intermingle with the guitars and drum, at which point the lead vocals begin to spearhead with aplomb, extolling the lyrics with a nonchalant swagger and an effortless virtuosity! Both the vocals and instrumental performance are expounded in crystal clear fashion. An essential quality of protest anthems is their ability to connect with listeners, and Jelly Bread excels in this regard. Their lyrics, like "They want us to hate each other, they ain't my daddy but you're still my brother" and "Those in control think that we don't know we're just pawns in their money-making game," are straightforward and devoid of unnecessary metaphors. The catchy top-line melody, initially based on the C# pentatonic minor scale, evolves beneath the chord progressions. It's complemented by repetitive phrases like 'keep on talking' and improvised singing, mirroring the listener's intellectual and emotional response to public events. And the mixing is top-notch, with a sparkling airiness given to each of the elements within the number, allowing each to shine on their own as well as while gelling with each other, especially during the instrumental outro, a little virtuosic gem in its own right, in order to round off this spectacular number.
t a duration of seven minutes that seem like three minutes, Möbius Trip is, so to speak, a banger in its own right, and a winner all the way. There is something in it for every listener – regardless of age, location and orientation – to relate to and empathize with, and the masterful balance and amalgamation between the thunderous writing and the performance of the written arrangement is something truly deserves mainstream recognition.
About Jelly Bread JellyBread was born in the back room of a barbershop in Sparks, Nevad. Their blend of funk, soul, and rock with songwriter sensibilities has garnered them accolades all over the west coast. From headlining regional festivals to sharing the stage with acts such as Dumpstaphunk, JJ Grey and Monophonics, JellyBread is sure to satisfy almost every musical appetite. For more information on Jelly Bread, please check out their website.