By Samuel Stevens
Release Date: January 1, 2021
The Washington, D.C. five-piece rock act One Way Out have shared their latest single, “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart).” The five, young rockers continue directly where their 2019 debut album, Cosmic Beat, and their 2020 single, “Black Walls,” left off. Cosmic Beat was an album inspired by narrative-driven concept albums such as David Bowie’s 1972 classic, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, all the way to King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s 2017 album, Murder of the Universe. The new single is the product of an entire year off with only songwriting and recording to occupy the members of One Way Out. “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)” has plenty enough grit to please any fan of rock ‘n’ roll, while still being able to hook its listeners with a chorus that rings inside your brain that you just simply never forget it.
Lyrically, “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart),” portrays a telling story of the character the band has named the “Freedom Man,” who first appeared in the lyrics of the song of the same name on the group’s debut album, Cosmic Beat. The single was influenced heavily by concept albums from the past and present. “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)” tells the adventurous story of the Freedom Man coming to Earth in search of love, which results in the release of mass euphoria that causes numerous large gatherings of people to come together to listen to live music as an influence under the spell of love. One Way Out recorded their new single at Capitol Hill’s Ivakota Studios with music producer and engineer Ben Green. Green is best known for performing guitar in his band Fairweather and has produced, engineered, and mixed for many artists such as Benjy Ferree, Dennis Chambers, Ex Hex, to name a few.
One Way Out was formed in 2012 by lead vocalist Josh Gaba, guitarist Jake Schaefer, and bassist Giulio Iacoviello. The following year, drummer Geist Topping joined the fold, while keyboardist Ari Rubenstein ultimately rounded out the lineup in 2015. One Way Out has evidently worked an unmeasurable amount to get to where they are today, both as musicians and as a band. The five-piece rock band has received four finalist nominations at Washington Area Music Awards, also known as The Wammies, under the Best Rock Album, Best Hard Rock Album, Best Hard Rock Artist, and Best Hard Rock Song categories following the release of Cosmic Beat. The band also toured East Coast America with fellow rockers Soraia and had plans to tour more extensively in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the band’s plans.
“There were a couple of hours we spent in the studio just making sounds with a screwdriver on a guitar and messing around with a theremin. These sounds can be heard in the intro and throughout the song, emulating the noise and chaos of a crash landing,” recalls guitarist Jake Schaefer.
Musically, “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)” can easily be mistaken as a song from the most popular time for rock music in the 1960s and 1970s. The single melds together the use of acoustic and electric guitars that duet around Gaba’s voice. Rubenstein’s keyboards shine underneath it all, while some theremin and many unorthodox sounds are tossed in-between to give it that cherry on top. “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)” is reminiscent of the tunes from rock legends Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and even The Rolling Stones. The single is a modern take on what many have come accustomed to calling classic rock. There is also in no way the band hides their influences out of their sound. At the forefront, the modern songwriting influences of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Oh Sees, and Tame Impala ring through the track additionally. The members of One Way Out also see The Eagles, David Bowie, James Taylor, and blues legends B.B. King and Muddy Waters as huge contributors to their sound and songwriting.
“Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart)” is just a taste of much more to come from this young, up-and-coming rock band from the United States capital of Washington, D.C. The track demonstrates a widely intriguing songwriting technique of blending old and modern styles into one exhilarating ride over the track’s four minutes and fifty-eight-second runtime. This is just the start of a blossoming career for the five members of One Way Out. I’m positively fascinated to see what the band has up their sleeves for the foreseeable future. Please stay in touch with the band by visiting their social media in the links provided below and make sure to stream and purchase their brand new single, “Black Lungs (and a Broken Heart),” which is out now on all major music streaming services.