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First Listen: FeelFree – Lonely Life

“The song is about trying to find yourself in solitude but also about dealing with the pain that that solitude can cause for others in your life when you go off on your own,” says Andrew Pfeiffer, lead singer of the Washington D.C. area genre-blending band, FeelFree, about his band’s latest single, “Lonely Life.”

I first met Pfeiffer this past winter at their local venue, Gypsy Sally’s, when the band opened for Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad as part of a Bob Marley birthday celebration. Friendly and warm, he had the kind of personality that makes you feel like you’ve been friends for a long time. I had never heard of the band before that evening but enjoyed their high-energy show.

Pfeiffer and guitarist Evan Hulehan have been playing together since their middle school years growing up in Alexandria, VA almost 15 years ago. With the addition of bass player Garret Clausen and trumpeter Colin Cantfil close to ten years ago, most of the band has had plenty of experience working together and it shows in their tight live performances.

FeelFree has a knack for writing catchy, listenable songs, and their latest single, “Lonely Life,” makes no exception. With raspy yet smooth vocals reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne, Pfeiffer sings plaintively, conveying a wistful sentiment which fits the song’s contemplative narrative.

“I wrote this song about a period of time when I was 18 years old, and I drove west to live in Montana by myself,” tells Pfeiffer. “It was one of the first periods of my life where I felt free to explore a beautiful and wild landscape but also to explore who I was becoming. But whenever you leave for new places, there is always a part of you that struggles with the change and questions if you are doing the right thing, going the right direction. ‘Lonely Life’ explores the give and take between wanting and needing to go your own way, and the pain that comes with leaving friends or loved ones when you do go your own way.”

If “Lonely Life” gets you excited for FeelFree music, you can look forward to their forthcoming full length album, Define the Free, which will be made available through all digital outlets on July 10. The band will celebrate with an album release party on July 7 at the aforementioned Gypsy Sally’s, before playing a string of dates throughout Delmarva and the greater D.C. area over the rest of the summer.

Pre-order your copy of FeelFree’s upcoming album, Define the Free, available everywhere July 10.

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Ever since becoming deeply moved and then essentially obsessed with reggae music as a teenager, Dave has always strove to learn as much as possible about the history and culture of reggae music, Jamaica and Rastafari, the ideology and lifestyle intertwined with reggae. 

Over the years, he has interviewed many personalities throughout the reggae world including Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear, Lucky Dube, Bradley Nowell and many artists in the progressive roots scene.

Dave has also written and published a novel, “The Cosmic Burrito,” a tale of two friends who drive across the USA in search of the ultimate burrito. He plays ice hockey weekly for a recreational team he founded and manages, Team Rasta.

Reggae music has filled his life with a richness for which he will forever be grateful, and he gives thanks to musicians far and wide, past and present, whether they perform roots, dub, dancehall, skinhead, rocksteady or ska, whether their tools are analog or digital, as well as the producers, promoters, soundsystems, selectors and the reggae massive at large who comprise the international reggae community.

You can follow Dave on Instagram at @rootsdude and Twitter at @ElCosmicBurrito.

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