[free download] The Fatal Flaw, "You Need To Know," written by Joel Reader about his wife's battle with cancer

Early last year Boston power-pop quartet THE FATAL FLAW released one of their finest songs, "Narrow Hours," in which frontman/guitarist Joel Reader tells the story of residents of a local assisted-living community for Alzheimer’s patients, and especially, one healthy elderly man who visits his sick wife each day despite her increasing memory loss. It was a personal bit of storytelling, and one that brought out the best in Reader, a San Francisco transplant whose band resume included west coast stints with the Plus Ones, Mr T Experience, and the Avengers.

If Reader wrote "Narrow Hours" from the personal things he witnessed (he would visit the home as someone close to him had a relative living there), then the Fatal Flaw's latest single, "You Need To Know," was written straight from the heart, a subject even more personal and dear to him.

In October 2009, Reader got married to Ashley Moody, former keyboardist of the Information and Servotron, and shortly thereafter, Ashley was diagnosed with Stage 1 uterine and ovarian cancer. She's been given a clean bill of health after two surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy, and today the Fatal Flaw released the song that Reader penned during the couple's ordeal.

We dare you to listen to the lyrics and not get a bit misty-eyed, and the dust in the room really acts up on lines like: "Please be aware/You're much more than your hair/Much more than that to me/And your perfect skull couldn't be more beautiful." Well done, Joel. 

"You Need To Know" is available for free download via the Fatal Flaw Bandcamp, then we'll let Reader describe the rest of he and Ashley's experience after the jump.

Writes Reader:

As some of you might know, last year my wife Ashley was diagnosed with Stage 1 uterine and ovarian cancer. In the indescribably scary months that followed I was desperate to somehow be a source of support and comfort to her, so I did one of the very few things it was within my power to do: I wrote her a song. Facing the unthinkable brought out an uncharacteristic need in me to be hopeful and optimistic, despite (or more likely, because) of the scope of what we were truly up against.

Two surgeries and six rounds of chemo later, I'm happy to report that it's been almost 12 months since her last treatment and so far every follow-up test has shown no remaining trace of the disease in Ashley. I don't think I've ever felt more relief in my entire life than I felt typing those words just now. With any luck, "You Need to Know" will forever remain a happy footnote to the darkest and most challenging chapter of our lives together, and I'm sharing it with you now in the hope that you might feel an echo of the love and admiration for Ashley I was feeling when I first wrote the song for her. Please enjoy and feel free to download and share.

Instead of recording a full-length album this year, it is our intention to release a new individual track online every 4 to 6 weeks. If we're able to keep up the pace, that should mean by the end of 2013 we'll have enough singles to compile a nice collection of material.

You can see the Fatal Flaw perform live this Thursday at the Middle East in Cambridge, a free show sponsored by the Onion's AV Club and Killian's Red that also features New York's VHS Or Beta. After that, they're at Radio on December 14 with the Luxury, the Lights Out, and Hey Now Morris Fader, and then on January 12 return to the Middle East with the Field Effect, Letterday, and Lannen.

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