Straight White Teeth’s lush and defiantly triumphant new single “Lifetime” was written and recorded during what was undoubtedly one of the worst years of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Patrick McGuire’s life. After the former Flashbulb Fires frontman moved to Philadelphia in late 2015, he sustained a severe injury to his right arm in a hit-and-run biking accident that left his ability to play guitar and piano in question. “Lifetime” and all its windswept euphoria feels strangely optimistic for being created during a trying 11-month period between two surgeries McGuire underwent to bring full functionality back to his arm. To make matters worse, in May of 2017, the lo-fi pop musician and his girlfriend and former bandmate, Ella Trujillo, were forced to leave their Philadelphia home at the request of local police because of violent conditions on their block.
Many of the themes found in Straight White Teeth’s 2015 EP Medicine Sword and the music featured on his upcoming collection of songs are centered around the idea––and real life conviction––of escaping a life of convention, and almost by way of self-fulfilling prophecy, McGuire’s brief and turbulent Philadelphia tenure turned out to be just that, though certainly not in the way he’d hoped or planned. After leaving Philadelphia in mid 2017, McGuire wrote, produced and recorded the other songs from the upcoming release in basements and bedrooms in Philadelphia, Ontario, Canada, central Wisconsin, New Orleans and his former home of Denver, Colorado. Currently without a permanent residence or band, Straight White Teeth is slated to perform small solo acoustic shows in venues across the US in late fall and the winter of 2017.
“Lifetime” features backing vocals from Philadelphia public radio personality and first time singer Paige Pfleger, a former piano student of McGuire’s. The song narrates the tension between a hesitant yet resigned bride-to-be and her defiantly eager fiancé during the moments shortly before their wedding. McGuire’s songwriting here is similar to his work with Flashbulb Fires, but with more nuance and urgency. “Lifetime” is a sundrenched promise that McGuire plans to continue making compelling pop music no matter what happens to him.