Anytown Graffiti is really a brilliant collection of songs that rock and roll with the best of them. And one of those fine tracks was even featured in an Express advertisement. But another track, that may not be the most representative Pela song, is exceptionally wonderful. "Trouble with River Cities" nestles in at track four on Anytown Graffiti and it is moving to say the least.
The song is much more mellow than a typical Pela song, and it begins with Billy singing "float like a sparrow/t-top camaro/is the wind done blowin you down?" and it reminds me the past. You know the days when you were growing up and we were much more care free. I asked Billy about the inspiration for this track in my interview and he replied, "Ya know its one of the oldest songs that i still play. I wrote it when i was 19. Its a snapshot of a period of time i spent with someone i loved and that theme again of being doomed to keep returning to an undesirable town." It is simply a beautiful snapshot of that time, and to me it's reminiscent of a small town friendliness.
Towards the end of the track Billy sings, "Yeah there's an undertow/but it ain't got me..." and it seems like there is some hope in the ending to this track. It's like an acknowledgment that trouble may remain, but moving on is an option. I asked Billy specifically about this lyric, and he wrote, "I really like mixing the dark and difficult aspects with fantasy where your imagination can sort of alleviate the grittiness that life can be. There is a dreamy highway escapism going on in that song....probably hatched from a stuck 19 year old me daydreaming. Daydreams are fucking valuable and i try to do it as much as possible. Really the process of creating is meditative and seeing it through from the bedroom, to a record, and later seeing fans sing it back to you a enormously gratifying."
I did not get permission from Pela's management to post this track, and I whole heartedly respect that. So if you're inspired to hear this song, go purchase "Anytown Grafitti." I assure you that it's worth your $13.
Thanks for reading.