We had higher expectations for 2020 than when pumpkin spiced lattes were introduced and likewise, we’ve been left disappointed and with a bitter taste in our mouths. Jokes aside, this year has turned into something none of us could have ever predicted. For some of us, it’s had its perks. Exams have been cancelled and we can finally finish that Netflix series we were never really that bothered about but not even Stranger Things can distract us from the harrowing, devastating and purely awful events that have occured since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. If it’s not a family member, friend or friend of a friend, we at least know of one of our favourite celebrities who’s been affected by this horrific virus. As much as we need to be grateful for our NHS and pray for those in need, we should also be thankful for what we do have and what better to do it than through music!
Frontman of Indie band The Rifles (Joel Stoker) has released his new tune ‘Stuck Inside’, a light-hearted, relatable and fairly witty track which reflects our every thought since lockdown began. Not only does its cheerful melodies lead us only to believe it’s vinyl copy would spray iridescent glitter but all proceeds go directly to the NHS. Fans can purchase the track at 99p but have the choice to pay more as part of their donation. Joel Stated ‘I think we can all agree that the NHS has always done a very tough, brave and amazing job and especially at this current time.’ Could this be a nicer gesture from a musician? While there’s many artists donating money at this difficult time, this is the first I’ve seen to produce a song to go with it. What I really like about it is how it’s given people a chance to donate, as well as giving them something to enjoy, as we need to consider the mental health of the people in isolation as well as those with the virus. Even if the track was an awkward silence on a perpetual loop, we can only give our utmost respect for what Joel is doing and the positive message he is expressing to his fans.
I had a lot of trouble picking faults with the song due to the praiseworthy acts that came from producing it. If it’s to raise money to a good and much needed cause, who are we to complain? I loved the rainbow artwork on the cover and the straight-to-the-point title which doesn’t sugar coat nor dampen the mood, it tells it how it is and doesn’t shy away from the sad reality we’re all facing. It does it in such a way that tells us ‘what will be will be’ and that brighter days are on the horizon. ‘Stuck Inside’ sounds like it should be played in a coming-of-age teen film with a Scouting For Girls type sound to it. It’s inoffensive, joyful and doesn’t take itself too seriously. ‘Stuck Inside’ is not going to change the world nor become one of the most favoured tracks in Joel Stoker’s discography but just like previously mentioned, it wasn’t put out to win a grammy, it was made solely to boost the morale of the fans and to do something fun for a relevant cause.
Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of the song as it lacked what I usually look for in music; important and meaningful lyrics. If you’re not into bands like Scouting For Girls or The Pigeon Detectives, then likewise, you probably won’t be hugely impressed by the track. It was something I could only really listen to once and I felt there was something missing to make it just that little bit better. However, Joel Stoker went out of his way to not only write but produce and record the song himself while in isolation. Something I highly admire and respect from him. Finding motivation in this isolation is near impossible so to come up with fresh ideas to help our NHS workers, is reputable at the least.
Whether you loathe or love the track, I would highly recommend you download a copy or go directly to the NHS website to donate money at this challenging time. Despite my own feelings towards the tune itself, I can only praise Joel for giving us that brighter light at the end of a very dark tunnel…
You can donate at https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/donate/ or download ‘Stuck Inside’ via Bandcamp at a minimum donation of 99p.
Article by Holly Turner