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(Un)Covered: Comfortably Numb

“Comfortably Numb”
Writers: David Gilmour, Roger Waters
Original Release Date: June 23, 1980 (as a single); November 30, 1979

I often find that people who say Pink Floyd is their favorite band are either stuck in the seventies or are trying to impress someone. Or maybe you’re like me and you grew up listening to Roger Waters and David Gilmour without quite realizing how big an influence their band has had on modern music over the last fifty years.

One of the longest songs on their 1979 concept album, The Wall, “Comfortably Numb” is considered one of the band’s most renowned (and is actually pretty sure, considering the length of some of their other offerings). There are no less than two guitar solos that take up at least a minute (each), which wash over the song—and you—like a psychedelic wave. Since The Wall is a concept album, it’s only fair to assume that “Comfortably Numb” is part of the narrative; in fact, it tells the story of the album’s protagonist, Pink, who compares his adult feeling of being empty to a childhood sickness. It’s actually really depressing when you consider the lyrics, especially the last few lines: “The child is grown / The dream is gone / I have become comfortably numb.”

For their most recent EP, Dust & Bones, Cambridge alt-rockers Lonely the Brave recorded a cover of the Pink Floyd track. It can be hard to do justice to a song that’s so intricate, not to mention worshipped by countless fans, but Lonely the Brave pulls it off with style, delivering a rich, brooding version that is at once timeless and modern. The guitar solos are still present and impressive, and singer David Jakes’ smooth voice lulls you into a complacent silence before punching you in the feels as he croons the story of becoming numb.

While purists will scoff at a “new” band tackling a classic, I say they did an impressive job of mimicking the original, and it’s a great way to introduce new fans to the classic rock band.

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