Anytime an album prompts listeners to jump in their car, crank up the stereo, hit cruise control, roll down the windows and sing-a-long loud and proud, it’s pretty much considered a sure fire winner. And that’s exactly the ethos behind FM Static’s fourth long player, My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go (Tooth & Nail Records), which finds primary figureheads Trevor McNevan and Steve Augustine (both of Thousand Foot Krutch fame) turning in its most melodic, memorable and meaningful album to date that will make it feel like summer outside no matter what the season.
“It’s funny because every artist is excited about their new record and there are a lot of cliché things people say like it’s their best work yet, but this was honestly such an inspired process and it all came out so naturally,” notes McNevan of the instantly infectious batch. “I’m a sucker for a big hook and this record zeros in more on that top 40 side than it the past, but we didn’t go in with any intentions or hidden agendas. This isn’t a concept record, it's more of a highlight reel of moments and situations in my life that relate to title.”
Taking its moniker from the track of the same name, My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go is firmly planted in present tense, urging listeners to not be afraid to step out in faith without worrying or feeling weighed down by a sagging self-esteem or less than ideal circumstances. In other words, seize each day and make the most of every moment.
“So many times we fall prey to over-thinking a situation rather than just diving in with a child-like faith and doing it,” continues McNevan.
To compliment that carefree vibe, the group’s crafted a textbook summertime sound that combines pop, rock and beachy beats sure to inspire fans from all walks of life to live a fully alive faith. Those newly recharged sonic batteries come courtesy of the front man’s insatiable curiosity for music new and old, culled from an astounding CD and record collection of over 8,000 titles!
“I listen to music so much that I’m the guy who sits up Monday nights at midnight to preview all the new stuff on iTunes,” he adds with a laugh. “I’m always craving a great song no matter what the genre. In the pop rock world, I’ve always been a big fan of Jimmy Eat World, Fountains Of Wayne and Marvelous 3. On the new disc, there was no box we were trying to fit in, you hear traces of a retro glam pop tune and then something else you might hear at a sock hop back in the ‘50s.”
Several cases in point permeate My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go, such as the lead CHR and AC single “Last Train Home,” which chronicles the basic human emotion of trying to fix ourselves, and realizing that God's in control, over laid back R&B-tinged alt-rock. Come “U Don’t Know Me Like That,” FM Static turns towards the notion of never judging a book by its cover over a retro pop motif that could’ve popped up on a “Happy Days” episode. Taking on its deepest subject thus far, “Black Tattoo” traces a girl getting out of an abusive situation, eventually finding hope and granting forgiveness in the aftermath. And the band’s self-titled track “F.M. S.T.A.T.I.C.” is sure to be a stand out on rock radio thanks to its massive wall of guitars and harmonies that have the mark of a timeless anthem.
“When I hear that song, it just feels like fireworks and I could picture it in a movie or TV show,” suggests McNevan of the latter tune that’s already landed on ESPN and “Hellcats.” “It conjures up high school memories of cheerleaders rocking out at a football game or going to prom or a competing in a battle of the bands- maybe a little bit of all three rolled into one.”
Even the artwork for My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go is loaded with energy and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, finding the fellas sporting '70's hairstyles and facial hair, complete with McNevan playing a police officer pulling over Augustine. But the zaniness is also balanced with the guys’ steadfast commitment to connecting with fans on a personal level, with the overall hope of inspiring them to live out the life of their dreams and whatever their calling may dictate.
“We’re Christians and that’s always been our faith and lifestyle, but we’ve never considered it to be our genre of music,” sums up McNevan. “The goal for me is always that connection -- to be able to talk about the things I see and go through and what’s been on my heart. Sometimes it’s just about having fun and sometimes it’s me wanting to be as honest as possible. But no matter what I’m singing about, I've never been a fan of sugar coating things, because that’s something that's always turned me off. We try our best to make music that feels as honest as possible, both lyrically and musically, and then leave it up to the listener to take away what they will.”