Monday, October 19, 2020

“I Walked Away” by Strays Don't Sleep – A Song Feature

 

      The lyrics of “I Walked Away” are intelligent and reveal an understanding of life’s more difficult experiences. And the lead vocals could not be better tailored to the sentiment of those lyrics. The “weathered” voice lends credibility to a personal relationship between the subject matter and the song’s protagonist. In contrast, the single from Strays Don't Sleep includes backing vocals with a gentle smoothness.

     The evidence of the investment of thought and care devoted to composing “I Walked Away” is not isolated to the lyrics. The selection of instruments is equally praiseworthy. An increasingly forceful ,ominous intro somehow seamlessly transitions to a pleasing acoustic guitar. A piano and an organ join, but the approach remains minimalist. As a result, there is nothing that steps on the toes of the somber nature of the vocals – until the end, when light splits the darkness.

     At 4:08, there is a small change in lyrics that signals a more significant change in outlook.  The song walks away from its minimalist approach to lusher instrumentation and more resolute vocals. At 4:08, the lyrical shift indicates an acceptance of who he is, since he refers to himself as “my friend.” In the first two occurrences of the line, the reference is to a more neutral “myself” – “I got so fuckin’ close to the edge that I thought I’d never see myself again.” In the final occurrence, the line shifts to “I got so fuckin’ close to the edge that I thought I’d never see you again my friend.”

     “I Walked Away” is from an upcoming four-single album of Strays Don't Sleep. They describe the intent of the song cycle of “A Short Film for a Long Story” as a celebration  of “the beauty and melancholy in reclamation after a dark time. Sometimes those things that dog us have to be left behind. But first they have to be confronted, called out and dealt with.” 

     Strays Don't Sleep are based in Nashville. They are Matthew Ryan and Neilson Hubbard. They rejoined after a 15-year hiatus. Matthew notes:   “’I Walked Away’ was the first song Neilson and I sat down and wrote together after 15 years. Strays had ended quite dramatically 15 years earlier. Quietly, in a van outside of Indianapolis. Neither of us wish to discuss what happened. Over the years our friendship proved durable, important and intact. Naturally we were compelled to once again explore this music that was unique to the way our talents and voices collaborated and enhanced each others instincts. The song came quickly as we sat together for the first time in years at the small mid-century table in my writing room in October of 2019.”

     “I Walked Away” by Strays Don't Sleep

 

Lyrics of “I Walked Away” by Strays Don't Sleep
There are wars
We haven’t won
There’s no justice
With a gun
And even the church
What can I say?
I walked away
 
Everything
Is right on time
It all went wrong
But I don’t mind
Like a drunk
On the stage
I walked away
 
Oh, I got swallowed by the hollows
Oh, I got tore up by the knives
Oh, I begged and killed and followed
I got so fuckin’ close to the edge that I thought I’d never see myself again
 
All I want
Is truth and love
A melody
And just enough
No lie that quiets
Your pretty face
I walked away
 
Oh, I got swallowed by the hollows
Oh, I got turned by the knives
Oh, I begged and killed and followed
I got so fuckin’ close to the edge that I thought I’d never see myself again
Oh, I got swallowed by the hollows
Oh, I got wounded by the knives
Oh, I begged and killed and followed
I got so fuckin’ close to the edge that I thought I’d never see you again my friend
 
I walked away
[Repeating]

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

September Songs that Bear Repeating

 

     As a welcome to the new month, here are the favorite songs from September posts of Indie Obsessive.

     “LA Somewhere” by Quitting Whitney (from the post of September 18, CLICK HERE if interested). 


     “Hello Darling” by Octave music Records (from the post of September 17, CLICK HERE if interested).


      “Don't Feel Much Like Me (Without You)” by Volunteer (from the post of September 10, CLICK HERE if interested).


     "The Roses" by March to May (from the post of September 4, CLICK HERE if interested).


     The comprehensive list of songs with Spotify accessibility: