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  • Jonathan Widran

skinsNbones, 'There's Reason"

The question mark (?) logo that Brisbane, Australia husband and wife rockers skinsNbones use in all their promotional materials in lieu of band photos reflects a fascinating aesthetic designed to create mystery, provoke and encourage curiosity and questioning, and keep the focus on the meanings and messaging in their songs rather than the messengers. What we know about Red and Bones, plus other members including Gunnar and featured powerhouse Aussie vocalist Jason Kafoa ultimately matters much less than the hope their tightly grooving, high spirited new single “There’s Reason” offers to a broken, pandemic riddled world in need.

Kafoa’s deeply emotional vocals authoritatively and compassionately convey the hard won movement from darkness and confusion to light and optimism in the first verse: “It’s grey…when the sun goes away/But the clouds will soon pass/And your world will shine so brightly. . .the heat of your heart/And your passion starts igniting/Burn brightly.”

The infectious chorus is pure encouragement for the hard road ahead: “You will see, you bring about your destiny/While you sit and wait, you’re just marching to your fate/There’s reason/Keep breathing/You will rise. . .There’s reason/Keep breathing…” In the second verse, skinsNbones acknowledges that it’s a process to get to the other side of our struggles: “There’s pain…there’s no growth without strain/But the scars that you wear/Haven’t stopped you from caring. . .”

Bones’ songs come from a deep inner expansive space of “divine gratitude” that has been credited throughout history as the source of inspirational work, which she says “we’ve all connection too”. “There’s Reason’ came very quickly, yet like a puzzle, piecing different important ideas together very bluntly to create a larger focused picture.” she says. “It’s a picture of darkness and light, but more than simply black and white because ultimately it’s bright. The song came through at a time I was in need as quickly as it could be typed, apart from one verse which was for me to puzzle out from the song. It was very clear this song wasn’t only to help me. To me, the song is essentially a lullaby to awaken and soothe the weary soul. It’s about helping uplift spirits and changing perception step by step, while staying very real by inspiring moving into better easier ways of being and living.”

The release of “There’s Reason” follows skinsNbones’ three popular previous singles, including the international hit “Forever On,” which hit the Top 10 in Europe and #2 on the World Radio Charts (Independent Top 40), remaining on the charts for several months. Along with their 2020 debut single “Is There Meaning?” the three tracks form a soul stirring trilogy that thematically demands that we listen to them in order – from “Is There Meaning?” to “There’s Reason” through to “Forever On” - rather than in the order of release.

The slow burning mid-tempo rocker “Is There Meaning?” is a dark expression of confusion and suffering that leads people to their wit’s end where they’re so numb, they “fear nothing” and where “nothing’s beating,” “there’s no feeling” and they ask the title question over and over in their quest for peace.

The up tempo “Forever On” is the last phase of the journey where one has the strength to let go, trust, and go with the flow or any big waves, being at fully at peace and loving what has always been the ride of your life.

While Bones says there are many ways to interpret her lyrics, this song is the stage where one becomes enlightened and starts to see and live in fresh and inspired new ways.” As she wrote and Kafoa sings: “The spark of live, it twists and turns forever on/Forever enlightening all ways…”

The highly impactful video for the song questions, “What would the world be like without mental dis-ease?” and shows a series of memes mentioning the disorders and diagnoses of the five greatest and most influential scientists of all time - Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton and Nikola Tesla.

Speaking of the development of “The Trilogy”, skinsNbones collectively says, “Deep gratefulness was the catalyst for these songs, a gratitude for becoming more and more at one with Self and All, being deeply thankful for-giving and for-getting all that is and will be. ‘Forever On’ shows this way of being, a re-leasing of any dis-ease and suffering to empower peacefully and graciously. It speaks of a rock and roll life and how living can be fun.”

At heart, “The Trilogy,” as Red and Bones call the songs, reflect the unique overall philosophy the band brings to their songs and overall musical mission. Explaining the concept, they have written: “They are three individual songs, all with different ways of perceiving the world. They stand by themselves yet empower more through being united as one. The ideas and feelings within are age old. Yet “The Trilogy” shows real ways of being that may be “unknown” to many similar spirited people, who can easily make real personal change through intending to naturally create similar growth towards new ways of being, regardless of current thinking, feeling and perceiving.”

“Meaning is illusive. Reasons are everywhere. Meaning is individually exclusive. Uniqueness ensures this. Reasons are easily shared, helping create individual meaning, enlightening the world at large through new, bright unique ways. In this way, different focus, meaning and curiosity constantly evolve in greater and greater ways, adding brilliance to the world, both large and small, forever on.”

Bones adds a more personal reflection on The Trilogy’s movement from darkness to light: “I’m not excitable though I do celebrate. I celebrate that these songs are connecting with people, who I know to be like-spirited. The cold hard truth is, prior to COVID, suicide rates and mental dis-ease had been steadily increasing at alarming rates. All whose stories are within ‘Is There Meaning?’ were successful at finding peace (RIP) apart from the writer. Suicide is preventable. Rates for both are unable to be accurately calculated at present due to COVID. This alarms me greatly.

“My training,” she adds, “is to work with/at micro and macro levels to bring about ease/health. This doesn't mean removing mental difference. ‘There’s Reason’ moves one towards this ease. We’re simply attempting to get this work to reach a larger number of people through one of the greatest and quickest change agents known - music. I can't stand by and allow preventable and permanent ways of finding peace to continue, especially while so many are choosing this option and there is a way to gain peace on earth. That's my driver, my passion. Together, we’ve become more determined and focused as there's much work ahead. We enjoy doing our job and will celebrate fully when others can, too. There is purpose behind all we do.”


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