Banah Winn left Portland, Oregon in search of a new sound. Having played in bands throughout the Northwest, he sought out Los Angeles as the solution for his musical wanderlust. Though he went on to join several different projects there, including Cayucas, he eventually forged his own path by founding indie rock outfit Opus Vitae with three other LA transplants. Now, they’re preparing to release their self-titled debut EP, produced by Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck), on August 28th. As a preview, the band has shared their latest harrowing single, “Hold On”.
The emotional track delves deeply into grief and coping. Here, Winn’s voice sounds heavy-hearted, shivering against the rapid drums and swirling guitar lines. The intensity climaxes near the end as the frontman belts, “All this time I thought you knew/ How could you miss the elephant in the room?”, before a fiery but brief guitar solo cuts through to stunt the song’s progression. It’s a mournful yet powerful song, outlining the dangers of not intervening and watching someone waste away.
In an email to Consequence Of Sound, Winn shares the story of the friend who inspired the song:
“I wrote ‘Hold On’ about addiction. Years ago my best friend and former writing partner ended up checking himself into rehab for alcoholism. About a year later he got out and we finally got to talk again, I’ll always remember the things he reflected on, like the stories of how he was trying to tell his friends he had a problem but everyone around was either too drunk too, or lacked the awareness to notice him ‘screaming out’ for help. I’ve written a few songs about what he went through, but ‘Hold On’ came years after that when I was living in a ‘party house’ here in LA where one roommate especially was drinking his face off 5 times a week, raging until 5 in the morning all the time. It was pretty stressful to be around that and It brought back a lot of those memories of what my friend had gone through.”
Listen in below.