Though likely a new name on your radar, alt-rock newcomers Lochaven probably won’t qualify as such for long. Having just released their debut full-length Change Is Upon Us January 10th, the band has hardly been together but for a couple years. That being said, the band’s ambition is on display here, considering Change Is Upon Us is an elaborate and intelligently-produced concept album that, thankfully, you don’t need to immerse yourself in to digest it. It certainly helps, though! And with the three-piece hopping over here to narrate the album’s story, you can definitely follow along – something we recommend doing below.
Change Is Upon Us Track-By-Track
CHAPTER I: THE BATTLE CRY
1. Now or Never: The statement of grievances. Our narrator explains the current
state of the fractured society in which he lives. He feels that the cracks in the fabric
of society are beginning to show, and the time is now to enact fundamental change.
Otherwise, their community will reach a point of no return. Therefore, they are
beginning a journey to catalyze the change they wish to see.
2. Against All Odds: It is made clear that the ultimate plan for their journey is to arrive
at the nation’s capital, and confront their political leaders, who the group feels have
betrayed the interests of the populace for the sake of the leaders’ own gain. Upon
confronting the leaders, the group plans to seize power from them by any means
necessary and return control to the people.
3. Can’t Stop Looking at the Fire: We get a deeper glimpse into how the leaders of
this society (elected and otherwise) have systematically oppressed the working
class. Through endless war, the rich and powerful have coerced the poor and
powerless into fighting their battles for them, all under the guise of “national unity.” It
is time to put an end to this imbalance of power.
CHAPTER II: SEARCHING & FINDING
4. Seul Sans Toi: This instrumental interlude serves to prepare the listener for a
change in scenery. Our protagonists have been journeying for some time now, and
with all that traveling, a sense of loneliness has arisen within our narrator. It is that
sense of loneliness which sets the scene for the next song…
5. Where Are You: Our narrator yearns for companionship. He has put so much work
into this quest that he has forgotten about one of the most basic components of a
fulfilled life: love. He’s now searching for someone who may come along to help him
assuage this feeling of solitude.
6. Calling My Name: While passing through a town on their way to the capital, the
narrator meets a mysterious, yet alluring woman. He can tell that this is a woman of
great passion and desire. There is an instant connection between the two, and a
brief, yet intense love affair begins.
CHAPTER III: LOVING & LEAVING
7. Kiss of Judas: After spending some time together, the narrator realizes he’s
gaining feelings for his new companion. But deep down, he knows that their
relationship is only transitory, and that soon enough he’ll have to be on his way. He
takes no pleasure in bringing her pain, though and he wishes for a way to make
everything work out.
8. (Can’t Give You) What You Want: The narrator ponders the subconscious
teaching of how we are supposed to meet that special someone and have everything
fall into place. He wonders why everything hasn’t fallen into place for him, and then
he remembers that he’s on a journey which stops for no one. He has dedicated
himself to a cause and no one, not even his newfound love interest, can take him off
course. After all, their intense relationship has begun to turn sour anyway. What
started off as a heated, passionate love affair has quickly evolved into a convoluted
mess. No matter how much it pains him, he knows he must be on his way. He goes
to deliver the news to his love interest.
9. Get Up and Go: On his way to deliver the news, he feels down, yet there’s also
feels a sense of relief. He knows that no matter how hard this decision has been to
make, it’s the right thing to do. After he rips off this band-aid, he’ll be free to re-
dedicate himself to the cause completely and his group will be back on course. A
sense of freedom and optimism arises as he approaches her doorstep.
10. Wandering Ways: In a striking turn of events, the narrator’s love interest beats
him to the punch and informs him that she wants to leave him. The narrator’s ego is
bruised, and he instantly becomes defensive. He assures himself that she’ll come
back into his arms, but it quickly becomes clear that that is not the case. After all,
she’s already looking for somebody new.
11. Continuum: In what should be a time of starting anew and moving forward, the
narrator allows himself to fall into a trap of self-pity and martyrdom. He thinks that he
should have been the one to leave, and since he didn’t get to pull the trigger, he is
left questioning his own self-worth. In this moment, he fails to see that he’s merely
experiencing petty jealousy, but in time it will become clear. After all, due to this time
of darkness and self-doubt, he is eventually able to see the light.
CHAPTER IV: UNDERSTANDING
12. The Promised Land: After a period of deep reflection, the narrator has
experienced an inner transformation and come out the other side even stronger than
ever. He has come to realize that all things happen as they are meant to, and that
the greatest lessons come from the most difficult times. What’s even better is that he
is now approaching his group’s quest with a renewed vigor and purer intentions. He
realizes now that fighting the violence and hatred in his society with
more violence in hatred is a never-ending, vicious cycle. Instead, in order to bring
about the greatest amount of positive change, one should look inward, discover
one’s own sense of inner peace, and spread the compassion and understanding that
results from this inner transformation. It is this new message and mantra that the
group takes with them to the capital.
13. Satori: The group finally arrives to the nation’s capital, but instead of violently
overthrowing their political leaders, they simply spread a message of enlightenment
to all who will hear. Their message emphasizes the importance of finding one’s own
sense of inner peace, and of becoming one’s true self by looking past societal
constructs and pressures.
14. Pax Romana: We fast forward to a time when the group’s message of
enlightenment has been embraced by their society, thereby bringing about
fundamental changes that have resulted in a more compassionate, understanding
community. The narrator reminisces on the time before these changes, when it was
not always clear that they would come out stronger on the other side.
But here they are, through all the hardship, better than ever.
15. Change is Upon Us: The album’s title track marks the end of our story. The
narrator looks back at the entire journey, satisfied with where he and his community
ultimately ended up, while also acknowledging that a happy ending was not always a
sure bet. There was difficulty and there was heartache, but it was all necessary for
them to get to where they needed to be. He lets out a deep breath and proudly
proclaims that after so many struggles… change is indeed upon us.