Kelly’s Lot’s single, “Hurricane,” kicks off with bluesy acoustic guitar and harmonica. Lyrically, the song speaks to events in life that hit us much like a storm. “I lost my passion, I lost my bliss,” writer and vocalist Kelly Zirbes sings. “No bursting of joy for any of this.” No, this is not a happy little song at all.

This is how we feel emotionally, sometimes, when circumstances just seem to sweep over us like the strong winds of a hurricane. The song’s bridge is Zirbes’ cry for help. “Somebody help me please/Somebody give me relief.” Yes, Zirbes may not be singing about an actual, physical hurricane. However, the words she uses to seek assistance are like those uttered by storm victims calling for FEMA’s help.

The last verse especially expresses Zirbes’ helplessness when she sings, “The weight of the world/Has broken me down/Can’t get up and live/Can’t make a sound.” She is behaving like someone who is beaten, who has given up. Even so, the music is propulsive. She doesn’t sing like one down in the mouth. Therefore, the sound of her voice contrasts distinctly with the words she’s singing. Yes, she has written about defeat, but she by no means comes off as one who is defeated. There’s still quite a bit of fighting spirit left in this woman. This points out how we must always listen to HOW people are speaking, as much as WHAT they are saying. If you took Zirbes’ words at face value, you’d declare the hurricane was victorious over her. Nevertheless, Zirbes has clearly not given up.

The song’s next lines take on more of a spiritual connotation. “I don’t see a savior, I don’t feel grace/I don’t have an angel/To teach me to pray.” This is not to suggest Zirbes is anti-religion; instead, it’s just another way of expressing that – if help is on the way – she sure doesn’t see it coming. When we’re struggling, we hope someone will hear our cry or see our predicament and come to our rescue. This would be like an angel or a savior, coming to get us out of the way of the storm. These words also express how alone Zirbes feels. Where are those friends that have promised to have her back? Why is she seemingly alone against the elements?

Towards the track’s end, there’s some really nice slide guitar, which matches well with the track’s harmonica fills. Zirbes’ voice is about as blustery as a hurricane. She’s a boisterous, bluesy singer, with a voice perfectly suited for this rollicking track.

Sometimes, just having a fighting spirit is all it takes to make it through a storm. It may seem natural to simply give up and give in to the elements. This can certainly be true with relationships. How does someone keep going when a storm has blown away all your emotional security? There aren’t any easy fixes for these relational problems. They say time heals all wounds, but the more time it takes to heal, the more we suffer.

The listener is left with the impression Zirbes is one of those storm survivors. This song acts as her way of saying, ‘Hey storm, you better beware of me!’

-Dan MacIntosh