“California” album art

Even without the craziness of our current world, the idea of facing the future as an adult in modern society can be overwhelming. There are pressures put upon individuals from not only their families, friends and institutions, but also themselves. Such a topic has been fodder for many a song about growing up, or refusing to do so — usually in the genres of punk and emo. Yet The Ramona Flowers seem to have turned the concept completely on its head in their latest poppy single, “California.”

U.K.-born quartet The Ramona Flowers aren’t household names yet, but between their new single and a recent mega-hit collaboration with legend Nile Rodgers, that all seems poised to change very soon. “California” is first and foremost a bop — easy to dance to, obviously inspired by disco beats and the vibes of downbeat hip-hop, all combined into one massive track that’s impossible not to dig. The bass is solid, the vocals are flowy, the guitar evokes a sound caught between now and the early 2010’s — it’s pop perfection for a time when we need its shiny positivity more than ever.

Yet underneath the song’s upbeat veneer are some incredibly profound lyrics, especially in the chorus: “Articulating / All those crazy / Thoughts and notions swirling round your mind / Is all the rage in California / I just wanna prove to you that I can make a wonder.” According to lead vocalist Steve Bird, the meaning of the song is more than just good times and living life to the fullest:

“‘California’ is a song about self-development, making a positive change to be a better version of you, for yourself and others. It’s about making a family and being an eternal optimist in the face of adversity … This song is also about a very real worry of conceiving a child and the impact of that as a man if you can’t deliver that for the person you love.”

“California” takes a few listens to really get its full meaning, but the reward is definitely worth the wait. It might be easy to dismiss the track as yet another lyrical downer about how growing up and dealing with stress, relationships, family, etc. is hard, placed under the style of a pop song. Yet in the vein of similar tracks like Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” or fun.’s “Some Nights,” “California” almost demands listeners to accept life’s pain with its pleasure and allow the sound to wash over their fears, assuring that everything will work out alright.

The Ramona Flowers upcoming album is forthcoming, with title, release date and tour information to be announced soon. In the meantime, the band will be at Firenza Rocks Festival on June 17 and 18. You can take a listen to “California” below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.