Song Review: Eighty Ninety – Know Me

By Jeanette Arsenault

There is something to be said about simplicity.  

In these COVID-19 pandemic days, everyone’s life is in some degree of chaos – be it health, loss/reduction of income/work, loss of freedom to go where and when we want, overworked frontliners and behindliners (delivery drivers, warehouse workers, suppliers, distributors), too.

Our souls need to be soothed.  We need calm and to de-complicate our lives so we can think straight.  You can’t think straight when you are emotionally and psychologically stressed out but mostly exhausted.

I’m not sure the Brooklyn brother duo Abner & Harper James had that in mind when they wrote their beautiful song, *Know Me*, but their timing couldn’t be better.

Simple arrangement, minimalist instruments and yet somehow it feels layered and lush.  The vocals are perfect and invite you to listen intimately while the guitar and banjo are beautifully played and balanced to provide the musical support.

But mostly, it feels calming and makes my heart slow down, my shoulders drop and exhale a nice sigh of soothing relief.  Ahhhh…that is so lovely.

I read their bio that said “Eighty Ninety’s polished work is beautiful”.  Yes that is another way to describe them.  You can appreciate *Know Me* as a lovely cool drink on a hot summer’s day and while we’re at it with cliches,  it seems to me like this song is a “labour of love” – it is a well-crafted, well arranged, beautifully produced recording.  

So, there’s this, too, of course:

“Handpicked by Taylor Swift” for her Official Spotify playlist “Songs Taylor Loves”

How can I top a ringing endorsement by Taylor Swift?  Bravo guys – talk about biz cred.  Well- deserved.

Personal disclosure: I must have listened to the song at least a couple dozen times just for sheer, selfish reasons – *Know Me* made my heart and soul happy.  

“Speaking soul to soul through music” is how I usually put describe my goal as a songwriter.  Take a listener beyond just hearing your song.  Make it vibrate & reverberate deep inside your listener.  You can only do that by giving a little piece of your heart & soul – people will know it because they will feel it.

Love this line:

“And all the things that break your heart

And make it sing

It wouldn’t be a life without them”

Isn’t that the very definition of love!  Either your heart sings or it breaks.  But either way, you need to live your life with heart or what’s the point?  

And when we get it right:

“Sometimes I feel like giving up

But you are always there to catch me

Always have your arms around me

Sometimes i feel I’m not enough

You always help me stay above it

Always showing me what love is”

You need to listen to this song – and put it on your playlist on repeat:




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Published by Jeanette Arsenault

Jeanette Arsenault is a singer/songwriter/recording & performing artist/mentor/coach who is now pursuing her new passion for music journalism. She is also currently preparing the foundation for her new business to provide support, consulting and resources to musicians.

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