Singled Out: Radio Free Universe's Even Angels

William Lee | 09-17-2019

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Radio Free Universe

Indie-rockers Radio Free Universe just released their brand new single "Even Angels" and to celebrate we asked George Panagopoulos (vocals & guitar) to tell us about the song. Here is the story:

It was two years ago; however, I can play it over and over again like a movie reel on a constant loop. My mother passed away due to a terrible mix of mental health complications and a prescription overdose. She was tired of living. Her fix of lorazepam made her invincible to those emotions. During the last decade of her life, her mental health was on a steady decline.

Throughout those ten years she would talk to "angels" that were constantly surrounding her and occupying her mind. My mother would tell me that a demon was possessing my body and soul. That was the gist of any and every conversation she had. It would later evolve into blood-curdling accusations of soul swapping. She was a mere fraction of the person she used to be. Once my mother was a beautiful young singer, fighting fascism in Greece, and fleeing to Canada for her safety. She had a big heart and a world of opportunities ahead of her.

A few moments before she passed my mother looked at me the way she used to. I saw all of the love she wasn't capable of feeling for the past decade. And then, in a moment, she was gone. Then, at that same moment, I saw my father break into a million pieces. Instantly my father became ill. He needed a cane, he couldn't remember much, and he was constantly quivering.

My mother's final gaze was constantly entering my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about how I felt when my mother took her last breath. All I could feel was a deep need to express love and emotion like never before. It was then, while I was in deep reflection, that I was gifted with "Even Angels." It was just a melody and nothing else, but it reminded me of the old Greek Mediterranean music my parents used to listen to. It was haunting yet familiar all at the same time.

It was a simple phrase that came moments after the inception of the melody, "even angels fall from the sky." The rest was still muffled, but the idea was there. I made my way to the studio, interrupted a game of chess, and began recording. And just like that, clarity struck. I believe that songs tell us what they want to be. The group discussed what the song was saying to us. At the time I thought it was about my dad and his battle with dementia. We later realized that "Even Angels" was bigger than my father. "Even Angels" is about my father, my mother, and anyone else who's sadness and grief overwhelmed them to a breaking point. "Even Angels" is about every beautiful angel among us who chooses to fall from their grace for whatever forgivable reason, every day. Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!

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