This week I’m writing about ‘Listen’:
When I recorded my new album the first time around it was a very different beast altogether. I had initially challenged myself to make the songs as bare as possible; just one vocal and one acoustic guitar, much like how I would sound if was in your living room playing a house concert.
However, after having it mastered and getting the artwork done, I decided I hated the record, ditched it and started again 🙂
Now, as a result, every song on the album is almost buried up to its proverbial neck in synths, distortion, reverb-drenched guitar and multi-layered BVs. And this track, ‘Listen’, is perhaps the song that’s changed the most as a result.
Subject-wise, it’s about uncertainty; something I’ve been writing and singing about for a long time, in songs like ‘Testimony’, ‘Son of Everyone’, ‘Retreat’ and ‘Bad Architecture’.
The key line in the song – “Please, please listen to me” – would sound pretty narcissistic and desperate if it was being sung from my point of view! Thankfully, it’s not – rather, it’s sung from the point of view of the voices in our head that ask the difficult questions, challenge our preconceptions and gently prod us to face up to our uncertainties and doubts.
“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”
– Anne Lamott, ‘Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith’
Or, in the more concise words of Radiohead: “I might be wrong”.
Lyrics are in the first comment.
You can buy it in these places:
Everywhere you go you bite your tongue
Keeping quiet to please some other someone
Everyone you meet seems to be certain
Never taking a good look behind the curtain
There is a voice lodged deep inside your brain
Gagged and bound since birth
But these knots they are unravelling
Like the stories and the songs you sing
But it’s hard to kneel and to be disarmed
But you’ve got to believe that you cannot be harmed
So please listen