“Explode” by Chris Ning
Trapped in a life that doesn’t make sense, searching for a way out and simply desperate for one person to reach out and be there when no one else ever has – when it comes to feeling suicidal, there are moments in which any sort of satisfaction of freedom from the very thought are impossible to uncover, but for Chris Ning, he’s determined to help more people avoid this experience through the release of his powerful new single and music video “Explode.”
Ning doesn’t self-righteously address his audience in this release, and although he hasn’t been shy about getting personal behind the mic in previous instances, there’s something very potent about what he lays down in the booth for this track.
Despite the dark hue of the narrative in this song, being suicide and those who are immediately affected by it, the lyrics we’re hearing feel a lot more like a lifesaver-style element than they do an admission of defeat or ruing over the past. Ning wasn’t trying to write Alice in Chains’ “Would?” in “Explode,” but instead throwing his hand into the crowd and reaching around for anyone that might need a lift out of the darkness this fall. I don’t know where he attained the kind of presence he has here, but if it’s anything like his live performances, I think his concerts could be some of the most affective put on by an indie Canadian in his peer group.
2020 has been a celebrated year for singer/songwriters despite all of the turmoil we’ve experienced collectively in Canada and the United States, both political and pandemic-related the same, but I would still have to rank Chris Ning’s “Explode” as being a cut above the rest of the songs in its class if pressed to.
He’s got a lot of contemporaries that are trying to accomplish many of the same goals he clearly holds quite close to his heart, but I haven’t had the opportunity to hear very many that had the kind of natural talent that he has when he starts to sing in a single as challenging to pull-off as this one is.