by Sjur Lyseid
I'm a pretentious dude. To me, pretention was always the mother of invention. Trying to reach for something, trying to be something you're not, trying to be cooler than you are. While being a double edged sword, this pretention has also allowed me to write songs about the strangest of subject matters: The disruption of the Gulf stream. Competing astronomical theories of an expanding vs a pulsating universe. Waterfront development. Nuclear scare. The list goes on, along with all those songs about girls, bars, bands and cars, of course (I told you I was trying to be cooler than I am).
However, I think Random Quotes is my weirdest literary approach to songwriting yet. This song consists almost entirely of quotes from someone's social media profile. Someone I have no relation to, or know in real life. - A picture of Einstein in high heels. Anxieties and medication. An unhealthy, yet fascinating obsession with gardening and insects. - I think we've all seen those people, the ones who share too much and yet so little, watching someone dwindle down a downward spiral, as we give in to our voyeurism and self affirmation.
Someone asked me what this song is about. Sometimes, as songwriters, we just don't know, but we can still find beauty and meaning in a song and in a lyric. I know this to be the case as a listener as well. But, hard pressed for an answer, I muttered something like: "Maybe it's about the disintegration and representation of self in the times we live in" (like I said, a pretentious dude). Maybe it is, or maybe it's just about trying to find said beauty and meaning in that disintegration.
This was also one of those songs that was almost fully formed in my head before I sat down with an instrument. Melodies, structure and even most of the lyrics. That used to be such a rare thing for me, but on Half Empty, it's been the norm. Which I think lends these songs a kind of simplistic urgency.
However, there's always been a clear difference to me between writing songs and composing songs. Not that any approach is more valid than the other. "Random Quotes" was written, the next one is definitely a composition more than anything. On that note, I'll let other people pick up the pen and write about it. Writing about writing about writing about music.
I'm lost and afraid. I think I might change my name: Aimi.
A clear construct, but still uneasy.
You're building an argument. While I'm trying to make sense of it all.
Waiting for the final curtain call.
It starts with an open ending. I'm still pretending this reads like a novel.
Third world wars and helpless animals.
I suppose this is love, when my soaked garden gloves give shelter to the june bugs and the spiders.
Wish I told you to your face. Had a plan, but it got erased by a hand that tastes like polyester.
If we're building a monument to these past few years.
It depends on your view. Mine half as cute as Einstein’s shoes.
I broke, like the dawn. Placed my second foot on the lawn. Just to prove to you the grass is greener.
While I can't prove God, only irony when you nod, and say “Sjur, didn't we know better”.
Like the roots that wait under the snow
Or a song for someone I don’t know