In Lieu of Roses – “Portal to a Sunset”


From the band’s upcoming EP, For Eternity, “Portal to a Sunset” is an emotive rock success from Philadelphia-based band In Lieu of Roses. The track’s inspiration is very personal; guitarist and singer Eric Naroden reflects on his grandfather’s passing, a year ago. Per the band, the effort explores “the inner existential conversation in the face of a lost loved one, while also wanting to remember that person in the spirit in which they lived their life.”

“Portal to a Sunset” resonates with its apt escalation to its namesake. Vocals enter immediately in “lifting the shade,” to the bevy of emotions ahead, with twangy guitars and an underlying organ exuding a grounding effect. The “where angels fly,” multi-vocal momentum into the title-bearing refrain makes for a powerful, emotive enthrallment that has me firmly gripped in the first minute. “Take another drag for you, even if wouldn’t want me to,” the vocals build into another majestic chorus. “Portal to a Sunset” is wholly resonating in its rising momentum and from-the-heart lyrical outpouring.

Naroden elaborates in detail:

“I wrote the song while on a plane out to California to meet up with friends and realized it was the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. I really looked up to him so it was tough for me. Single father that raised 3 kids by himself, with no money. Type of guy that loved his family more than anything. The song itself has a lot of religious undertones. In it I reference placing a stone on Jewish grave to show you were there, and Moses’s blessing to die on your birthday, which they say is only for the righteous.”

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of June 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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