Paul Helou’s (Single/Video) “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues)”
Warm but not overbearing beside the other elements in the song at all, Paul Helou’s lead vocal in “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues)” utilizes tonality to reassure us of our safety in these strange and difficult times we live in. There aren’t any synthetic augmentations to his voice, nor are we faced with a serenade that is weighted by politicizations or conceptualism that would best serve a different style of single. Helou and his friends are taking things as simple as they can in “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues),” and their moderation is worthy of a round of applause.
The interplay between the multiple vocal parts in this track is incredibly colorful and definitely adds to the lyrical theme of togetherness through isolating. Although clearly inspired by the mental toll taken by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of different ways that we can actually take what Helou is presenting to us with his words here. There’s a sense of honesty and humility to his poeticisms that could apply to a lot more situations than just the obvious, and if we listen closely enough, there’s as much being said to us through the rhythm as there is every rhyme here.
I appreciate how defined the master mix in both the single and the music video for “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues)” is, especially as it preserves the crisp quality of the instrumentation while fostering a strong, collective harmony between all of the different elements in the song. Everything here is meticulously designed as to keep us intrigued from start to finish, and while the same can’t be said for a lot of the other content I’ve reviewed in the last couple of months, this is unquestionably an organic slab of pop if I’ve ever heard one before.
This compositional framework is definitely more than flexible enough to support a few potential remixes if Paul Helou were interested in experimenting with his sound, and if I were him, I wouldn’t let the opportunity slide for a second. He’s got a masterful presence in this track, but with a little bit of tweaking he could present the same piece of material – and its narrative – from a few different perspectives that could draw even more of an audience towards his brand. Similar to AV Super Sunshine, this is a singer/songwriter project that could be transformed with the right concepts behind the glass.
I didn’t know anything about Paul Helou nor his collaborators in “There Are Heroes (Stay Put Blues)” before coming across this singe/video combo, but if this is just a taste of what he’s bringing to the table in 2020, I’ll definitely be back for more. There’s too much charm in this release for it to be a one-off from an obscure name in the deep underground; Paul Helou has the tools to make something amazing with his talent, and in this song, he’s giving us plenty of reasons to stay tuned for more in the near future.