Monday Motivation: Make War

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If you’re anything like me, you probably started the day by recognizing that the start of a new work week had indeed arrived and then immediately began shaking your fists at the sky in anger. Monday is rarely anyone’s favorite day, and from what I have seen firsthand it feels safe to say it’s the one day of the week some people outright hate. I guess to them the arrival of the work week symbolizes the end of their quote/unquote freedom, and as a result they head into the office/factory/restaurant/store with a negative outlook already on their mind. This leads to bad attitudes, which only makes the experience of being at work worse, and for some reason it also seems to make time slow to a crawl. We’re not about that life, and we hope this post can do the same you that the song contained within it did for us.

Something dawned on me the other day that had admittedly crossed my mind about a billion times before without ever being given a second thought. We as consumers spend so much time talking about the songs that matter to us and why they hold such great meaning that we rarely ask the creators of the music what experiences lead them to create in the first place. The song that helped me get through my best friend dying last fall could very easily have been written by someone trying to get over a break up or deal with the fact they had to move away from everyone they loved. The reason for the materials’ creation may not mean as much to me as the material itself, but as all art is the product of experience it is important to try and appreciate what someone else was going through when they decided to lay pen to paper and form a melody with words mirroring feelings held deep within.

The reason this crossed my mind is because of a little known band called Sad And French. Last year, Sad And French released an incredible debut acoustic album through Black Numbers that was promoted through Haulix. The album was written following one member’s experience with a rough breakup, but when I heard the record lost love was the furthest thought from my mind. 2014 was, for me, a year of learning to take life by the reigns in spite of whatever negative bullshit may come my way. I have learned more about myself in the last year than I had in the half-decade prior, and a lot of my learning was the result of dealing with hardships. The Sad And French record came into my life at a time when I felt the weight of everything happening around me pulling me down, and if we’re being entirely honest I felt as if I were reaching the end of my rope. Depression had swept over me on like a ghost with a bone to pick, complete with fits where I felt unable to pull myself out of bed, but something in the music of Sad And French gave me hope. It wasn’t that music was uplifting in any way, but rather that the group seemed to thrive on wallowing in their mistakes. They dealt with what was bothering them by working through it rather than working around it, and I realized after several dozen listens I needed to do the same.

This week, Sad And French return with a new album released under their new name, Make War. The band’s music is now about much more than a single relationship, but the way their material works is very much the same. Make War, like Sad And French, thrives on pulling apart the bullshit of everyday life, examining it, and realizing that we as people are much more than any one moment in time. It’s not about moving on as much as it is making sense of everything that has happened, learning from it, and finding new ways to exist in the wake of everything we have gained from the experiences we have had. It’s beautiful, chaotic, and infectious all at once, and I cannot recommend enough that everyone finds time to experience the album in full. For now, here’s a little taste:

I chose Make War for this week’s Motivation Monday because I feel we could all learn something from the way this band chooses to deal with life. Growing up is not about shaking off the rough times in our youth, but rather learning to take things in stride and accept the fact we cannot control what comes our way. The best we can do is to face life head-on and give it everything we’ve got. If we fail, at least we tried, and that is still better than most.

Make War will be released August 28 via Black Numbers and can be pre-ordered here.


James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder ofAntique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.