I was lucky enough to do an interview with Good Kid where they talk about this song being released and meaningless talents and lot of other stuff so if you want to learn more about the band you can go check that out!
Playing with Words
I want to start by talking about the lyrics because there are a couple of lines that stuck out to me the first time that I was listening to this song and it caused me to listen through and just take in the lyrics–along with actually Googling the lyrics and following along while I was listening because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any of the nuances.
Was it really past tense I heard
Or was it present perfect
This line above was the first ones that stuck out to me. There’s something about this line that hit me harder than any of the other ones consistently while I was listening to this song. I think there’s something heartbreaking in acknowledging a conversation shifting from present tense to past tense. Something about noticing that shift that makes my heart hurt.
But also this brought me to discovering how the song plays words. As someone with a Linguistics degree–shameless flex–whenever somebody talks critically or in-depth about words I get excited.
So there’s a lot of references to language and how the way the language is used is breaking down the communication between the narrator of the song and who they have had some kind of relationship with and that relationship ending. Being caught up in your own thoughts and feelings that you miss bits of the conversation right in front of you.
I think this is a cool contrast to the fact that this is ultimately a song about a very specific feeling which is that untethered (one might say drifting) feeling that you get when you’ve lost someone in your life for whatever reason who was an anchor in how you lived your life.
I think we’ve all had that before where we haven’t realized how much we rely on a person until we don’t have that person directly in our life anymore and then we’re sort of trying to figure out how we used to live when that person wasn’t there anymore. This can either be heartbreak or it can be a positive change in your life; either way it’s a very common emotion to have when you lose a relationship with someone.
And not to geek out too much on the language but the song ends in present perfect which is the line in the first verse and I think that’s really cool.
And also really reflective of the song because it’s both present tense in that the person is not there now in the present but also past tense in that they have not been in that person’s life for a little while now. So it’s coming to terms with the fact that they are in the present where they don’t have that person anymore after the whole song of living the past when they did have that person. It’s a wonderful little touch in the song and I hope it is 100% intentional because it’s very clever.
Side note: Nick’s voice is also really great and I could write a whole analysis on what I think of his vocals but we’re going to move on to instruments now.
Guitars that Intertwine
The next thing that I want to talk about from this song is the guitar work because I think it’s really pretty.
I think the drums are worth acknowledging because they really set the upbeat feeling for the song and they make it easy to dance to and they’re super solid.
But I want to talk about the guitar specifically because it’s that classic two part guitar where you have your rhythm guitar holding down the basics and then you have the lead guitar which is doing more of a plucking pattern and it just sounds real pretty over top of each other.
I was talking to my brother the other day about how the guitar doesn’t get used to its full potential a lot anymore in music. If there is an actual guitar as an instrument it’s usually just power cords or basic chords and it’s there to create a basic rhythm and fill in the sound behind the vocals or bridge the gap between vocals and drums. Not a lot of people put in a whole lot of work into making the guitar something that can stand on its own.
So when I come across a song like this where there is some nice contrast between the two guitars and that are pretty enough that I feel like if this was an instrumental–you take out the vocals and the guitars are in the front of the mixing–it’s still going to be a great song. Not that I don’t love the lyrics because I just spent most of this review talking about specifically about the tense in those lyrics and why I like them so having both is good.
This is one of those songs I listened to the first time and thought “this is a fun song” but it didn’t really sink in until I had heard it a few times and started to pick it apart.
In fact, the reason I originally decided I would write a review is because I just really like this band in general–and they’re Canadian like me which is a nice bonus–but it didn’t have a whole lot to do with the song specifically. But as I was thinking about the song and finding things to talk about I came to enjoy it a lot more than I originally did.
I love moments like that!