Hypnagogic-Explained

 

1. Bitter EnD

In trying to push yourself forward as a song writer one is always  looking at different ways to approach songs. I have been trying for many years to write in 5/4 (5 beats in the bar) Although I have started many times I have never finished anything. (The choruses in the song change into 6/8)

 

So I was pleased to get two 5/4 songs done on the same record.

 

The lyric in the chorus reminds the protagonist to look after themselves and to be aware of the warning signs of depression and anger. Do simple checks before you do more damage.

 

Am I hungry? Tired? Tomorrow might be different and so on.

 

As I grow older I find these tools more useful.

 

The 1st and 3rd verses tell the story of a friend from my youth whom I leant money to.

 

The 2nd verse is about the danger of obsessiveness. The 4th verse is the punchline to the 3rd verse.

 

The middle 8 after the 2nd chorus is about being a moody bastard and telling my wife that I love her, in my own special way.

 

 

2. Spit Out All The Dirt

At Liverpool Football Club the fans sign “You’ll never walk alone”

To me it is a rousing song and very spiritual. I have always loved the message the energy and passion it creates.

 

When  sung by 50,000 people tells us to “walk on, with hope in our hearts and we’ll never walk alone”.

 

I stole a line as a homage to it.

 

John Lennon said if you take enough drugs all you’ll find is yourself. So I open the song with that idea, taking drugs as an escapism, then I question faith and alcoholism as other forms of escape, which in their extremes are as dangerous as each other.

 

Some people are sheep some people are wolves. “When you fall” is another reminder, as in the first song to gauge disappointments more wearily. Is it really that bad?

 

Musically and in it’s production it is very simple.

 

 

3. Wrong Skin

I am hoping this song is self-explanatory. It was a confluence of ideas about humans who are out cast for not fitting into established ideal of what we are “supposed” to be. In it’s main it is about a transgender child growing into adulthood in the wrong body. All the awkwardness and social pressure that go with it. Seeing the parents struggling to come to terms as their child suffers and doesn’t understand what is happening. I found being an adolescent hard enough just by itself. I was imagining it must be an enormous struggle with these added concerns.

 

It is also inspired by the story of Dido Belle. A girl who’s father was a British naval officer of noble descent and whose mother was a slave in the West Indies in the eighteenth century. Dido was brought to England to be brought up by her uncle, The Earl of Mansfield and his wife the Countess. A child with dark skin being brought up in a grand English house in a country that still practised and profited from slavery. What a strange world she must have lived it. “Born in the wrong skin”.

 

I am delighted to see in my lifetime the dawn of acceptance of homosexuality, at least in the more tolerant parts of the world. Their story still has a long way to go, there is much progress to make and many barriers still to break down but I hope this change is now well rooted and irreversible. So they too, no longer have to believe they are born in the wrong skin.

 

 

4. Where Do You Think Love Comes From

This song had a working title of “UKRAP.” I am so paranoid about a far right movement blaming a faceless foreigner for all our problems. It is such a lazy argument.

 

We are all immigrants and migrants. No one truly belongs to a country and a country doesn’t belong to any one person or group of people. In fact you could argue that the concept of a country is ridiculous in it’s own right. I believe in identity and I believe in difference I believe in community.

 

Don’t believe the fear.

 

 

5. I'm Just A Pop Song

I was teaching a few kids the C major scale. I remember learning scales. So boring. I jazzed it up a bit by doubling the notes and swinging the rhythm. They loved it and it became this instant hook line.

 

When I got home I tried it for 15 mins and thought that would make a great pop song.

 

That’s it.

 

 

6. Therapist

So I was having Therapy every week and I had 20mins before I have to go. I pick up the guitar and I think I must be “in my head” about what am I going to start with, what am I going to say today when I get there.

 

They are going to ask me how I am and I actually get to tell them how I think I really am. That’s a bit scary.

 

So it’s always about your mum and dad, isn’t it. It’s always their fault? “what would my father say” that’s what I was singing. It’s just felt real and funny.

 

It’s a long joke about the stigma of Therapy with a painful amount of truth in there too. Not about following anyone home but all that stuff was part of one conversation.

 

My therapist didn’t get paid either. Poor person. I am eternally grateful for all their hard work and help. Thanks for the song.

 

 

7. god is 7

When I wrote the riff on the piano I thought it was a 7/4 timing, which is a bit more unusual and more jazz, so I was very pleased with myself and thought myself very clever. It’s working title was “god is 7” which is a brilliant lyric from the Pixies song “This monkey’s gone to heaven” In which “Black Francis” (the writer and singer) tells us that “if man is 5, and the devil is 6, then god is 7” Genius.

 

Turns out the song is in boring old 4/4 but I loved the title.

 

The lyric is about a character who is married and is telling their partner of many years that they are no longer active and no other man or women would find anything attractive about them.

 

So the character has stumbled across such a person who does find them desirable but the lyric paints a picture of how the character talks their perspective new lover out of any sort of relationship. Telling them, this could never work and be grateful that in fact they dodged a bullet.

 

 

8. The Ghosts brought you to life

This song come from the same therapy sessions already described.

 

I was discussing possible pitfalls with my friend and he made me aware that maybe we have to be weary of our demons, Pandora’s Box and all that. I liked that idea. An angry outburst.

 

Musically it was what was left form “Bitter end” Hence it’s in 5/4

 

Making something useful from the left overs.

 

 

9. The Time I spent With You

This is a real conscious attempt to right a positive song. I wanted to say thank you to all the people I love and the time they have shared with me.

 

Thank you.

 

 

10. I Can't Give You What You Want

I have written and recorded a song called “You can’t give me what I want” which is a stark realisation about the imperfection of relationships. I was always wanted; fancied writing a sequel or a part 2. This isn’t that.

 

This is a balance to the first song an equal and opposite. I am thinking it’s all very well for me to tell the world about some ones shortcomings in my eyes but people must feel the same about me. So I am certain I can’t provide what it is that some one else whom I love and what they need.

 

 

11. What do you think they say about you?

Sometimes we have to separate the art from the artists. What makes some people beautiful singers, painters, sculptors can also make them quite unpleasant people.

 

This is for you. We love your work.

 

 

Jamie West

February 2017

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