The indie alternative band from Edmonton, Alberta Canada, Justpeoplewatching, is a project consisting of a drummer, a guitarist and bassist, and two vocalists: Marc Ferreira, Kira Dawson, Justin McDonough, and Reno Menard. The band is inspired by artists and sounds from the 90’s and the beginning of the new millennium, such as Weezer, Coldplay, My Chemical Romance, and Phoebe Bridgers.
With their primarily indie rock sound and alternative influences, Justpeoplewatching have the noble goal of raising awareness about mental health. The group uses their own experiences, adding a level of understanding that might make listeners feel a deeper connection, and it is a fact that certainly makes their messages feel even more genuine and heartfelt.
For their most recent release, Superman, JWP is inspired by band member and lead vocalist Marc Ferreira’s struggle as he began his job as a teacher. The song talks about the harsh transition from being the student to being the role model, and how this pressure is only increased by the world’s opinions and what the people around Ferreira felt he had to be like.
With the lyrics written by Marc himself, the track feels like a personal narrative from a friend who’s opening up about something he’s been fighting against for a while now.
Another big contributor to the song is bandmate Kira Dawson, who joined later in the production of the track once Marc decided some killer harmonies would be a beautiful addition to the song. Both of the gifted singers deeply resonate with the message of Superman, and their feelings come through in every second of the track, oozing pain and a desire to overcome these unrealistic standards to prevent others from feeling this way once they reach this point in life.
Marc talked to Less Than 1,000 Followers about the story behind the lyrics.
“When I wrote Superman I was alone in my room and it was quite late at night. I had come home from a particularly tiring day of teaching. I remember feeling so defeated because I felt that I was never really enough or a good role model for the kids. As a teacher you carry a lot of weight and responsibly even if you don’t see it all the time. I struggled with coping with that new responsibility. I struggled with transitioning from being a student myself to being a leader. I think that a lot of people struggle with the idea of being an imposter and having a sort of savior complex. When you enter the profession you hope to make a difference in the lives of many.”
“(…) so, I sat down at my piano and started playing a simple melody. It was just a low D and a High D alternating on the octave, but I felt like the notes in particular resonated with me as they sounded heroic but sad at the same time. By the end, I had written a song I was incredibly proud of with an important message about spreading yourself too thin.”
The first lyric written for the track, “I am no Superman, I am a fake with a cape not even capable of stopping the ringing in my ears”, was originally written down in Marc’s journal during the time he realized how harsh the realistic expectations put on him are, and how living up to that idea wouldn’t be possible. With the comparison to Superman, a character often reduced by audiences into a perfect man who can always save the day and the world with minimal effort, Marc Ferreira highlights that someone like Superman still goes through difficulties and mundane struggles — although a character, he is realistic in the sense that he can never be perfect, something people tend to forget is impossible of others.
Superman as a song grew from being a metaphor and a short vent from the songwriter to becoming a study of society’s expectations for everyone depending on one’s social standing and profession. Emphasizing on the never ending loop of criticism, where someone will always be able to find a flaw in you, Justpeoplewatching talk about the cruel reality of standards and the psychological and emotional strain people are put through by these ideals.
For first time listeners of Justpeoplewatching who are intrigued by the stories being sung or the accompanying sound, the duo hopes everyone is able to get a sense of familiarity and nostalgia when listening to their music. As they are influenced by mid 90’s to early 2000’s sounds, as well as alternative rock, there is a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy a different element of their work.
Justpeoplewatching hope to be companions to those who give their music love. Whether it’s a single track, and regardless of the period of time you’ve known them, their work will always be there in times of need to let you know that you will never be alone.
If you enjoyed Justpeoplewatching’s music and would like to stay updated, be sure to check out and follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts. To listen to their music, you can head over to their Spotify profile and Youtube channel.
You can also support the artist by streaming and sharing their music, which can be found in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, and Alterindie State Of Mind.
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