Alternative-pop and electronic group Fifth Lucky Dragon releases their soulful electro hit "Timeline." With constant hopes of creating music that resonates beyond themselves, Fifth Lucky Dragon blends the bright atmospheres of pop music with intoxicating and soulful rhythm, alongside celestial electronic instrumentals. With their recent single "Timeline," we're taken on a 3-minute ride of bliss. Through powerful lead vocals and a thumping kick, we can't help but feel lifted after taking a listen. Genuinely one of the more dynamic pieces of music we've heard this year, Fifth Lucky Dragon hits the vibes on the nose with this track.
"Timeline" opens as bright as day with vibrant synths that shift into a gripping uptempo beat. Once the vocals kick in, we hear incredibly poetic lyricism regarding a troubled relationship. Yet instead of moping around, Fifth Lucky Dragon turns these emotions into a groovy hi-fi electro-pop tune with boundless energy. Around the hook, lively and natural instrumentals grace the listener's ears and soar with power. The production and mixing aspects of this single were done with such talent that isn't easy to imitate. This dynamic piece has to be one of the most authentic, unique, and exhilarating tracks we've heard to date. Fifth Lucky Dragon took the vibes out of this world with "Timeline." It would be an understatement to say that we're excited about their next release.
Could you speak more about the message and concept behind "Timeline"? What did you want your audience to grasp from the single?
To sum up what “Timeline” is about I would say that it is something of a reminder to myself, or a discussion about slowing down, feeling like I am in control of myself and my outlook, and just generally being in touch with what I think to be important. The intro was actually the last part to be added to the song but I think it gives some important context from where I was writing. The first line is about a tendency I have to take my perspective to a place where I feel like I’m watching myself in a movie, as opposed to operating my own mind and body. Like a birds-eye view of myself. As I zoom further out/away the details on the ground become lost. So the next line, “vanishing what he can relate to” is about losing touch with the details that make you feel like you are you. If that makes sense. And then the last line of that part is, “it all becomes a bird of prey.” So now that I'm in this place that feels very unnatural, watching myself like a movie, verse one is somewhat self-critical which is one of the symptoms of the big picture perspective that the intro talked about. My favorite line in this verse is, “as I turn my room into a maze.” Your room is supposed to be a place that you feel comfortable in/familiar with. But it can easily become a place where your stresses are highlighted which can result in different things for different people, but for me, it’s usually restlessness or insomnia. So in the function of the metaphor, I have turned my room into a place I can no longer find my way around or exist comfortably. To the chorus: “Can you feel the world spinning? Can you feel the earth shaking?” I guess questions like these are what I use as the antidote for whenever I get stuck in the bird's eye perspective. Maybe this only works for me but I can usually close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and convince myself that I feel the world spinning very slowly. Obviously I can’t actually feel that but it gets me to focus on something specific, even just for a moment, which is important especially with the current onslaught of stimulation.
What was your creative process like when crafting "Timeline"? How did you go about merging practically three different genres of music to create your vibrant sound?
“Timeline” was in the works for about three years and we have so many old versions of it. My friend Ben Woolgar (producer) and I started working on it in one of my college houses in 2017 and I think we knew it had potential (otherwise we would have given it up) but for a couple of years, the energy of the song didn’t feel right. Mostly from a vocal standpoint. I tried out a lot of melodies and singing styles that didn’t really work with the beat. Eventually, I landed on the style that’s in the final recording and I guess it just felt right. It felt like a song I would listen to. Playing it live helped a lot in figuring out how to get the energy of the song in the right place. Merging genres usually come from reworking sounds or parts that feel like they’ve already been exhausted in pop music. Certain sounds or progressions are so recognizable that they often no longer interest me, so I rework them until they interest me which often results in some genre crossover.
We can't help but feel that your group is incredibly experimental when it comes to music production. Where would you say your sound lies within music genres?
As everyone who makes music says now; it’s tough to pinpoint exactly what the genre is. And for me, this is a product of the technology available and what I enjoy listening to. So if one day I feel like making something that is just piano and vocals, I can try that. The next day, if I feel like making something that has synthesizers, drum samples, movie trailer sound effects, etc. I can try that too. I enjoy a wide range of music as well as the challenge of finding something sonically interesting even in the songs that I don’t particularly like (unless we are talking country music or the Chainsm*kers, both of which I refuse to poison myself with). I think most people who make music in a way that isn’t for the sole purpose of making money, want to make something that they themselves would enjoy. After all, you have to hear it a million times anyway so if you don’t like it, you’re in for a rough ride. So I try to make whatever music I want to listen to. Which is constantly evolving. Those are the main reasons for it coming off as somewhat experimental. It is usually some deviant of pop music. Some have said electro-pop, cinematic pop, alternative pop, and the classic “alternative” which everyone who can’t classify their music says.
Could you tell us more about Fifth Lucky Dragon, how the group has evolved, and what you want your music to represent?
Fifth Lucky Dragon started off as a solo project that I intended to expand once I had songs that I was satisfied with. I only wanted to involve others who I 1) were friends with and 2) respected their work creatively. So before the pandemic, we were playing a couple of live shows a month but now that is off the table. Luckily, (thanks to tech) I can work on tracks with my people remotely, but for now, I’m still doing most of the writing/recording. As far as what I want the music to represent; for me, it represents pockets of time that are something of a snow globe for certain points in my life. They also represent my own wrestling with certain ideas or thoughts enough to put them into a song that is at least somewhat coherent. It doesn’t feel right to say what I want them to represent for someone else. I guess the ultimate goal is for someone to bond with the music over something like a lyric, chord progression, or just a beat or sound, but I think that has to happen organically, and trying to force it into existence from the creative side feels disingenuous. But I still feel pretty new to this so maybe my thinking will change over time.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020?
2020 has had a mix of unique challenges for everyone. Obviously the pandemic has thrown most people off whatever course we thought we’d be running in 2020. Creating music has always been something that I use to lower the noise of everything else going on. Something I can focus on without the interference or hindrance of my own stresses or concerns. And it wasn’t until recently that I was able to pinpoint why it felt like it helped so much. But when you find something that you can totally immerse yourself, that atmosphere becomes a shield against our tendencies to constantly find something to worry or stress about. I would compare it to Patrick Star (Spongebob reference) drawing the circle in the sand to keep the sea bear away. All that to say, “inspired” doesn’t feel like quite the right word to describe what it is that has kept me going, or making music in 2020. I feel more dependent on it (creating music) than ever because there is no shortage of what we as individuals and as societies can stress/worry about in 2020. At the same time there is a part of me that feels irresponsible for spending time making music right now because there are many people who are fighting day in and day out for social justice, for climate justice, for public health in the face of the pandemic, and so many other causes that are much more important than music. I feel like I’m ducking out of the group project sometimes. In talking with friends though, I believe that as individuals we need to do whatever we can to keep ourselves mentally and emotionally equipped to engage with whatever causes we feel compelled to fight for; and for me, making music is part of this process.