“We Bow” is a wondrous dive into folk/pop fusion, with a sentimental spiritual lyricism that flows with an effortless uplifting melodic intuitiveness throughout the trio of harmonizing vocals.
The song harks back to Christian folk hymns such as ‘Will the Circle be Unbroken’ and embodies these emotive beats in its opening. The voice of Gungor enters the iconic and stripped-back arrangement, which doesn’t need too much complication to convey its message. This is when the song becomes a modern production, highlighting its pop elements through its pulsing bass drum and the euphoric synth and vocal breakdown towards the end of the track.
The theme of the music reflects the act of bowing. Gungor’s trip to Japan supposedly influences the motivations behind the songwriting here and the act of respect that bowing symbolizes.
The songwriting aims to convey this in its chorus, with its ascending main melody line guiding the listener to feel as if they are being towered over by a majestic force, successfully bringing into the frame the hypothetical size of the force that demands the respectful bow.
This theme is, however, clouded by the heavy Christian overtones of the song. Gungor’s lyrics strongly reference the traditional Christmas story by alluding to shepherds, managers, and God Himself. The contradictory efforts to describe the influences of respect that run through the veins of Japan’s hierarchical society by writing about Western Christian values make this message unclear. This is further clouded by the apparent references to the ‘mystery of existence.’ In contrast, the song is evidently pushing creation theory, detracting from the sense of mystery.
It fits in terms of a typical Christian Christmas song, and the harmonies are done in terms to create an atmosphere of mysticism.
The production of this track is excellent. It’s an absolute joy to listen to, with the panned vocal harmonies feeling like the three voices are destined to be joined together. Gungor’s soft, breathy vocals are paired with the dynamic ranges of Isa Ma and Astyn Turr, cut through the mix of instruments like a hot knife through butter. Their distinct yet complementary vocal styles generously add interest to the song’s entirety.
Hearing the layers of strummed strings throughout never gets boring, with the extensive range of dynamics and fading of different stringed instruments to increase and decrease intensity.
It’s also worth noting the interspersed piano, giving the chorus a distinctive ‘lo-fi’ feeling when paired with the percussion. It’s certainly worth mentioning the strings that lift this grounded folk sound into a strong sense of ‘majesty’ that Gungor is contemplating.
Its folk influences and pop elements combine to create a distinctive atmosphere of high listenability, mysticism, and subdued awe.
You should certainly listen to this track and bathe yourself in the cathartic sounds of Gungor’s latest music. Although thematically flawed, it doesn’t detract from fundamental reflections and their atmospheric results.