“Try to imagine what it must be like to go to sleep and never wake up …” — Alan Watts
On Halfloves’ first new single since June of 2021’s bouncy “Do U Follow Me,” we find the band exploring their more contemplative side with “Hospice.”
Trevor Polk and Jeff Roalson both lost their grandmothers in December of 2021, which served as a catalyst for this song.
“The heart of the song is aiming to capture both the sadness and grief of death, while also embracing its powerful capacity to bring about renewed perspective and appreciation for those we love as they bridge the gap between here and the hereafter,” Roalson said in an email.
The haunting addition of the voice of author and Zen practitioner Alan Watts drives this message home, with the koan quoted above.
The song (produced by Brandon Darner at Magic Barn studio in Solon, with mixing and engineering by Micah Natera with assistance from Steve McIntosh and mastering by Doug Van Sloun of Focus Mastering) starts with an arpeggiated acoustic guitar figure adding vocals building to harmonies. The arrival of drums signals the layering of instruments, and the intensity builds, soaring higher and higher to the bridge. “You don’t ever have to feel that way / Anymore (oh oh) / I don’t ever wanna have to let you go” — then it finishes much as it starts, with simple guitar.
The video provides a beautifully cinematic counterpoint in a slowly-rolling series of solemn images of nature captured in Hawaii. Closeups of green and elevated shots of landscape gradually kaleidoscope and mirror as the song builds, until we’re presented with a kind of mandala coaxing the viewer into a meditative state.
Halfloves always does a fantastic job of partnering with video and film producers for their singles; visuals for “Hospice” were filmed and directed by Andrew Rizer. In a time when fans’ attention is pulled into many different directions, Halfloves continues to capture eyes and hearts.