Illinois three-piece Four Stars have released their new anthem “So Long.” “So Long” marks the pop-punk group’s first release of 2022 and is a triumphant reminder that despite how hard life can get, you should be proud of how far you’ve come and the things you’ve accomplished simply by being in this world. While intricate guitar strums lead you through the melancholy sound of the track, the chorus reads, “Take a breath/And a step back/It’s been so long/Since you felt that/Helpless and so sad/But you’ve come/Far from your past,” reflecting a story of survival and resilience.
“‘So Long’ is a song about reminding yourself that sometimes it’s okay to not be able to defeat your thoughts,” the band shares of the track. “Somedays we’re in control and other days our emotions take the wheel. Both are fine, but if you ever feel out of control just take a breath, and a step back to reassess how far you’ve come in this life. You should be proud that you’re still here with us today!”
Heightened by choreography from local Chicago dancer/performer Joseph Raya, the visual for “So Long” highlight the feelings of losing self-control, releasing everything that weighs you down, and eventually finding freedom and relief. The high and low points of emotion are effortlessly captured by Raya as he transforms words into movement that reflects the essence and message of the track.
“My vision for the movement for ‘So Long’ developed from my emotional response to the song,” Raya shares. “The first time I listened to one of the final versions, I wept. Played it on repeat and wept some more. Went up to Danny (we were coworkers at the time) in actual tears—I couldn’t contain myself. I decided to refrain from strict choreography and give myself freedom to improvise my steps in order to deliver an in-the-moment, raw, and authentic performance.”
“In terms of style, I took a contemporary approach with this song—the movements are largely interpretative, lyrical, and, at times, literal” Raya continues. “I set my intention to evoke the journey the song takes you on from anxiousness to anguish and anger and finally reaching a place of acceptance. This song and video, for me, exemplifies compassion and empathy–acknowledging that those difficult feelings are common to the human experience and we’re here to remind each other of our strength and courage.”
The “So Long” music video was filmed by directed and shot by Mike Rumchaks; produced, engineered, and mixed by Seth Henderson (Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, State Champs) of ABG Studios; co-produced by Ryan Mendez (Yellowcard), and mastered by Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound). The “So Long” single artwork was created by Frank Mondragon.