Staring At The Stars
This is a slightly different one to write about .
I don’t really have an enormous emotional story to tell about this song , and in truth , I don’t really remember writing it …. 😯
Back then I wrote so many songs . music was my entire life . If I wasn’t busking or playing a gig or recording then I was writing .
And it used to flow out of me so effortlessly .
I would write wherever I was .
I wrote on the floors of train stations , on park benches , in dressing rooms and people’s kitchens …
I still write a lot but I don’t think in the same way .
Listening back , they used to be so much busier lyrically . I had so much that I needed to say .
I would sometimes jam as many words in to each song as I could … which is great , I love listening back to these songs and in truth wish I still wrote like this sometimes .
But I think over the years I learnt how to get my ideas across in a different way .
One thing that I’ve really noticed as well is that my songs used to have a lot more humour in them . They were cheekier …. I dont think I would necessarily write the line “who needs love when you’ve got silicone and strap ons” nowadays 😅
But writing , like everything , is an evolution .
It somehow feels less urgent now . its calmer and more considered .
I’m more confident in what I do and what I’m trying to say and perhaps I have less to prove ?!
I’m also much more picky nowadays . I have to be really excited by an idea to finish it where as back in the day I would chase every idea down to its end point … even if that proved to be a dead end .
Nowadays I write less , but the consistency is higher . I’m more efficient but part of me misses that time if only for the sheer volume of creative energy that I seemed to possess .
I look back at photographs of my self from back then and It really makes sense of the songs that was writing compared to the ones that I write now …..
I was a skinny kid living out of a suitcase . not eating enough and smoking too much .
Nowadays I live a happier , more balanced life . Perhaps this correlates with my writing .
This song is really a social commentary I guess . Perhaps a little dated in 2023 ….
The first verse starts by talking about nicotine stained fingernails and teeth which sets the tone for a pretty uncomfortable few minutes .
It talks about a society wrung out on energy drinks and internet porn . Anxious and tired and desperate for something else .
A few lines look at those dreadful 90’s / 00’s talk shows - Jeremy Kyle / Jerry Springer etc …. Where studio audiences and millions more around the world would tune in to laugh at people less fortunate than them .
The second verse is about disappointment .
Falling in to jobs that make us unhappy and drinking to escape them . dreaming big as kids before a harsh reality kicks in .
The chorus is powerful in its simplicity .
“Tie your scarf on tight , its to be a cold night”
Musically it is juxtaposed to its lyrical content .
The words paint a very bleak picture whilst the melody and instrumentation are actually very upbeat and almost joyful .
I’ve found this to be a really powerful way of writing over the years .
In truth , this probably isn’t my favourite song on the album in isolation , but its a really important one for the flow of the record and helps to set the scene and implements the reoccurring themes that run through the album .