Much like its iconic namesake, the new track from Cape Francis, “Iditarod,” seems to contradict bitter hardship with an unwavering sense of purpose and determination. Kevin Olken Henthorn, the former Stone Cold Fox frontman, has stripped down his former pop leanings and focused on more bare storytelling, allowing simplistic piano and percussion to anchor his stunning yet unassuming vocal melodies. These components subtly ebb and flow, carrying the tune from the unadorned introduction to the spirited conclusion — plucky piano notes that feel worn but triumphant. The race may not have been won, but the hard part is over — and all along Henthorn was unwilling to give up.
Learn more about the song from Kevin Olken Henthorn below, catch his show at Mercury Lounge on the 14th and be sure to keep an ear out for new songs to come!
Iditarod was kind of a freak song for me, it came out of nowhere all at once, which is definitely not always the norm. It was a big departure from my past work and felt like the most honest thing I had done. In previous projects, I had really struggled with ignoring the outside noise and simply saying what I felt and observed. But in this song, I was really able to speak my mind, no matter how long it took to say.
When I wrote it, I had just come off the tail end of a pretty brutal year. My band of 4 years had disbanded, my apartment was broken into and laptop stolen (with several months of new work on it) and it all happened around that fucking election. The song served as a way for me to work through this mental transition and face some things about myself that I had been trying to ignore. I really needed to take the time to look back and reassess.
Another major catalyst for this song was the state of transition in our country. It felt so overwhelming then, and it feels so overwhelming now. I’m ashamed to admit that it really caught me off balance and made me realize that I hadn’t been listening, I hadn’t been paying attention. If this song is about anything, it’s about staying awake and focused in the face of violent transition.