For the past 10 years, Adam Lazzara has fronted Taking Back Sunday, rising from the hardcore punk scene to the national rock stage through the band’s combination of pop-punk, modern rock and straight-up pop. But on his first official solo tune, “Because It Works,” from the label compilation I Surrender Records Presents: Our Voices, Lazzara puts the electric aside and goes pure folk.
On the track, Lazzara plays his acoustic guitar with vigorous, hard strikes, clacking and jangling. He blows a few Dylan-style notes into his harmonica before adopting a slight down-home accent, singing a tale of muted distress. Despite the song’s dour topic, Lazzara keeps an upbeat tempo throughout, making for a clever contrast between the message and music. In the video, the camera cuts from Lazzara playing out in the country to driving a vintage Range Rover; it ends with him pulling up to a bonfire party.
“It felt a lot more like hanging out than it did work, to be honest,” Lazzara told Rolling Stone. “Every week all of us get together for potluck, and that particular week [director] Shamus Coneys just set up a camera. The whole experience was a real family affair, quite literally, and for that I’m grateful.”
I Surrender Records Presents: Our Voices is out now.