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Here / Now by Soft Punch:

Life, in its unpredictable and often cruel manner, has a curious habit of halting what seems unstoppable. But it also has an uncanny ability to birth art out of adversity, a concept embodied wholeheartedly in the narrative of Rye Thomas’s Soft Punch. The single, “Here / Now,” plucked from their album Above Water, is a testament to this tale of resilience and unwavering spirit.

Soft Punch projects a sound that feels nostalgic and new all at once. “Here / Now” blends the sophistication of classic rock with the intimacy of bedroom pop, like flipping through an old diary that’s been rewritten with modern ink. It’s as though the whispered lyrics and melodies were scribbled hastily in the dark, where the world is all but a murmur, and the heart, undeterred, still finds its voice.

The blend of influences — from Björk’s eclectic ingenuity to the melancholic lull of Elliott Smith — craft a soundscape that’s both broad and singular. The Beatles’ iconic harmonies and Frank Ocean’s unapologetic emotionality find their echoes in Soft Punch’s signature sound, creating an immersive experience. Yet, even amidst these greats, Soft Punch finds a voice distinctly its own.

What’s incredibly commendable is the process behind it all. With ME/CFS holding Rye captive, every chord, every note, every lyric came at a personal cost. “Here / Now” wasn’t birthed in grand studios but through fleeting moments of strength and in the companionship of a loving boyfriend and dedicated friends. This song, and indeed the entire album, embodies the essence of patience, of waiting, and of cherishing moments of clarity amidst the haze of uncertainty.

Above Water is a beacon of hope, a demonstration of what humanity is capable of when backed into a corner. Rye Thomas, once a lively fixture in the bustling DC music scene, now presents an art that’s more introspective, profound, and gorgeously authentic. Soft Punch’s “Here / Now” isn’t merely a song; it’s a defiant statement, a victory cry, and above all, a celebration of life in all its ups and downs.

In the end, “Here / Now” is not just a sonic experience but a journey that inspires, reminding us that even in the darkest hours, there’s a melody waiting to be found.