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1L Music Reflects on Mental Health Struggles of Quarantine in Slow Burning “Prison Walls”

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1L Music is an NYC-based soft rock meets indie pop band composed of lifelong friends Nick Pretel and Josh Anthony. With inspirations ranging from Coldplay and Sam Smith to Queen and Sam Cooke, they aim to unite people by communicating their experiences of joy, camaraderie, and the spectrum of all emotions with those around them. In the fall of 2019, Nick and Josh performed in front of a live NYC audience under the name 1L, paying tribute to their unwearying friendship. Several performances of catchy covers later, they have continued to hone their skills and just began releasing originals earlier this year.

“Prison Walls” is their second-ever single and it’s a slow-burning, reflective pop song inspired by the mental struggles of quarantine throughout the pandemic. Influenced by songs like “I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan and “I Lost a Friend” by Finneas, the emotive tones convey the pensive undercurrent that carries the lyrics. A melancholy piano sets the backdrop for the inward-looking crooning vocals. Layered vocal harmonies sweep over an evenly-paced beat. As the song continues, more instrumental elements and backing vocals are introduced to the production. Eventually, a triumphant swell reaches the song as the lyrics reflect the desire to break out of the prison walls because they are not reflective of who the singer wants to be.

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