Serious songs don’t have to sound serious. When thinking about a song that’s about a big societal problem or a touch time in someone’s life, it can be easy to think of a slow, dramatic ballad. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but it’s not the only way to deal with these issues. An upbeat or a catchy song can help give new perspective on an issue or introduce it to an entirely new crowd. Boca Raton band Del Pelson have taken this fresh approach to heart. The result is their new single “Traffic,” premiering on Substream this afternoon.

“Traffic” is built on charming guitar rock, with lead singer and guitarist Cal Nelson providing a soothing musical structure to welcome listeners. Once listeners are drawn in, the lyrics start and the true nature of the song is revealed. It seems life isn’t going to well for Nelson, as he’s engaging in a lot of self-destructive behaviors. The lyric “I’ve been walking out in traffic” provides the title of the track and the central theme of the chorus. The music picks up a little more zip as the drums come in and and the riffs increase in intensity, but everything still sounds serene. More frequent mentions of alcohol begin to appear as the song goes on as we begin to realize the root of what’s happening. “Traffic” does an amazing job of providing a downright charming sound to background the difficult truths Del Pelson are revealing.

“Traffic” was inspired by a very real, very serious moment in Nelson’s life. He says

“‘Traffic’ empathetically looks at how substances can be appealing at first, but a delirious realization reveals abuse and addiction can derail a life. To put it simply, Traffic is about alcoholism. There was a point in college when I realized I was drinking more often than what would be a sustainable lifestyle, but that short time in my life gave me a glimpse into how somebody might fall into a cycle of addiction.”

You can listen to “Traffic” now. Del Pelson are also playing a couple shows this summer, and those dates are included below.

Del Pelson Tour Dates
7/6 – Grandview Public Market – West Palm Beach, FL
8/7 – Bayside Marketplace – Miami, FL