- Bryon Harris
Across The Board (ATB) - 'Don't Drag Me Down'
Across The Board (ATB) are a highly regarded and dynamic indie-pop rock band out of Toronto Canada. The band has four talented members: Jacqueline Auguste (lead singer, rhythm guitar and keys), Damien Atapattu (vocals and lead guitar), Andy Ramjattan (bass guitar), and Paul Nanuwa (drums). This group of multi-instrumentalists seamlessly combine infectious melodies, soulful vocals and appealing lyrics to create songs that push “across the board” of rock n’ roll and into universal territories making their sound radio-ready. Their debut album, Jane On Fire, was literally on fire with 150 YouTube video releases. Now, ATB is to releasing their newest EP, 'AMENDS.' Off this EP is their single, “Don’t Drag Me Down,” which is sure to have you hooked on their captivating sound. Featured on International Women's Day and selected for an Akademia Music Award and a Global Music Award for best pop rock song in 2017, "Don't Drag Me Down" is a chart stopper.
As the song starts, the band slowly filters in after 2 enticing instrumental bars leading into the first verse. The guitar plays an infectious lick as the bass and drums keep a nice steady groove, for the first phrase of the verse, then break into a more intricate groove for following section. The vibe is upbeat and contagious, the kind of tune you want to blast on your radio on your way to anywhere and nowhere.
The arrangement of the song speaks volumes about the stellar musicians of ATB as they create compelling instrumentals that do not interfere with the blissfully sweet melodies of the vocals. Jacqueline’s vocals are honey-sweet making it easy to fall in love with ATB’s melodies; her vocal presentation has just the right amount of indie-pop. The combination of the arrangement, the production, vocals and a strong hook makes “Don’t Drag Me Down” a hit.
“Don’t Drag Me Down” is about the sometimes cruel nature of love, holding your head up high, not getting dragged down or wrapped up by other people’s fears and issues. In the second verse they sing, “You know you took me for a fool. It was nothing more than cruel. I'm right here standing tall. I'll never take your fall.” These uplifting lyrics are easy to relate to and empowering, but what really makes the words shine are the vocal and instrumental interpretation which is never over-the-top; the style unfolds and invites you instead of shouting at you allowing the cool vibe to settle and resonate. The hook is a stand-out, “Don't Drag Me Down. Stop foolin' around. Don't you see me here. Wrapped up in your fear .Don't you drag me down.”
Here is a lyric-video of the song:
Across The Board has a knack for writing strong tunes that will stay with you long after you listen. Their song, “Don’t Drag Me Down,” is a prime example of ATB’s ability to write radio-ready jams that will leave you eager for more of their music, never too much and never too little - ATB gets it just right. Make sure to visit their youtube channel or for more information on the band visit their website.