‘Blue Fall Day,’ The Campfire Flies

campfire flies blue fall day

The Campfire Flies (from left, Toni Baumgartner, Deena Shoshkes, Jon Fried, Matthew Davis, John Baumgartner and Ed Seifert).

The weather today reminds me of 9/11. It is gorgeous out, not crisp like the fall, but rather cool with a bright sun heating up my front steps. I am rewarded with last year’ gardening projects: Purple hyacinths and yellow daffodils in full bloom and wisps of crocus hide behind last years’ sleeping shrubs. Some of these bulbs are old — they originally sat in baskets decorating my children’s bar and bat mitzvah party tables.

Those were days before coronavirus, when we could hug. Now, as we were on 9/11, we are all fearful and uncertain about our futures.

A handsome French 40-something man tells me about his plans to buy a house a few doors down from me where he will begin his life on this street, raising his very young children. Mine are adults but not at work or college because this is the age of coronavirus and we are isolated from offices and universities.

I try to forget that shopping is wrought with fear of contagion and focus on the sounds of the birds. But it is not easy to forget CNN talking heads’ discussion this morning about the 19 people who died yesterday at an overwhelmed Queens, N.Y. hospital. The latest news flash indicated that the United States has the world’s biggest coronavirus outbreak — its total cases surpass both Italy’s and China’s.

“Blue Fall Day,” a song on The Campfire Flies’ debut album Sparks Like Little Stars, perfectly captures the mood of the day. The captivating and collaborative band is composed of six seasoned indie rockers — Deena Shoshkes, Jon Fried, Ed Seifert, Matthew Davis, and Toni and John Baumgartner — who have been playing in New Jersey and New York for years. However now they are home, staying safe from the virus, but thankfully we can still hear the warmth of their voices sing “Blue Fall Day” in the incredibly gorgeous video, produced by Fried, below.

Written by Davis, it’s a beautiful, introspective song with Toni Baumgartner and Shoshkes’ rich vocals blending nicely with Davis’ voice. He describes a world that is green on a blue fall day and references a person whose world is spinning in his head. It’s an interesting and evocative song and relevant to these times.

“Sometimes when you write about one thing, you’re actually writing about its opposite,” said Davis. ” ‘Blue Fall Day’ was written decades ago about a lovely but somber autumn afternoon where things were feeling quite hopeless. But the song is actually about keeping up hope — finding reasons to push onward through days growing darker. Moving through that difficult day — filled with the appropriate reds, oranges and browns of the season — it was seeing through the trees to the rich, green fields beyond that made all the difference. The grass in the sun had not yet turned to the wintry brown-green we know well. It was a needed reminding that spring will come again and the wheel goes on turning.”

When they whisper towards the end of the song, “All the world on a blue fall day,” I resist giving in to the dread that surrounds us on this blue March day.

“The season’s changing again and I am starting to see that green life return to lawns and fields,” said Davis. “Keep on keeping on.”

To stream or purchase the album, visit thecampfireflies.com/music.

NJArts.net’s Songs to See Us Through series is designed to spotlight songs relevant to the coronavirus crisis and encourage readers to support the artists who made them (and won’t be able to generate income via concerts at this time). Click here for links to all songs in the series.

We encourage artists to email us submissions (newly recorded, if possible) at njartsdaily@gmail.com. Please include links to sites such as Patreon and Venmo. Readers can also make suggestions via that email address.

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