Washburn and the River “Pusher”
Delving into the emotional theme of pushing buttons and moving on from a relationship comes in different shapes and sizes. For one artist, Washburn and the River, “Pusher” is an example of bright guitars, potent by subtle percussion and a lot of harmonies. This pop rock track is juiced with clunky guitar riffs and crooner Jake Rosenberg’s hopelessly dynamic vocal range. Like a creaking guitar neck makes swift ups and downs, so does Rosenberg’s ever-moving harmonies. “Pusher” triggers many emotional triggers, with the entertainment emotion being paramount.
You push my number…I don’t care, Rosenberg, the man behind the moniker Washburn and the River sings. He appears to have moved on and is replaying the breakup, makeup and acceptance in his thoughts. It plays out like he’s been through all the stages of the grief process (much like ending a relationship). While some might gander that he’s not fully over this relationship if he’s still singing about it, I think the audacity of this song is that he is. He’s hopeful and longing all at once. I think the romantic in me thinks that it’s a playful way of singing in his dreamy harmonies that the door is probably still ajar; the realist listener in me thinks that this guy is just revealing the thoughts he put down in his journal and he’s already onto the next adventure.
Rosenberg, a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, spent the pandemic tucked away in a cabin/woodsy area with family and friends. His folk/Americana background evolves. He grew up in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts and his upbringing definitely shows in the way he constructs a song. This song is the result of his removal from city distractions. If you’re expecting an organic, granola folk-trip, you might find it in the song lyrics, but the music foundation is all indie pop rock. It has moments where the sunny electric guitar shards through the rhythms and percussion – much like the sun only hitting the forest bed in certain spots. I like the fluidity of it all and it does transport the listener to a simpler tone, a less chaotic rhythmic city vibe.
When Rosenberg trails off with not so long ago, his mind might wander into the next note, but the evolving music current steadily spurs forward. The vibrant guitar and his genial vocals make “Pusher” definitely prime time ready. I had to wonder, too, if this song was about any of the people he shared the cabin with – where they pushing his every last nerve? And did he get over it? I like the backstory he provides in his press materials, but like all amazing songs, he finds a way to keep you guessing and wondering if that is really what the song is about. I’m certain it will mean different things to different listeners.
Fans of The Goo Goo Dolls, Oasis and David Gray will find this song to their liking – as should all music fans. “Pusher” is proof that Washburn and the River is one track to discover and rediscover. It’s worthy of all the accolades it receives.