Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about men’s stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.
And now, let’s continue.
|Photo Credit - Naki Kouyioumtzis - Taken from Steven Wilson press page|
I’m a huge fan of Steven Wilson and all his projects and he is my most listened to artist with almost double number of scrobbles on last.fm then the runner up and three times as frequent than any other. Of all his projects I like Porcupine Tree most and my favorite song of his is Heartattack in a Layby. This is unavoidable song whilst on the subject on man’s relationship narratives and maybe just as unavoidable as a window into wonderful territory of musical hyperrealism. It is a song exquisitely imagined and polished to perfection from both lyrical aspect and impeccably produced. I even spoke about it here on the blog before. That’s because I think about is so often I usually hear it my mind even when it is not playing in the vicinity.
I cannot even begin to describe how absolutely awesome is to hear ambient sounds in the song (cars driving by, idling of the car motor, swishing sounds of air disturbed by passing traffic) and understand that they are there to further the reality of the situation described by the song.
I pull off the roadEast of Baldock and AshfordFeeling for my cellIn the light from the dashboard
Hissing from the roadThe smell of rain in the air conMaybe check the newsOr just put a tape on
And it all sounds so real and feels so intimately close. Creeping sickening feeling of overwhelm-ness, crushing pressure of procrastination long overdue, sensation of lingering sticky smoke bringing calmness to spirit and play to the hand.
Lighting up a smokeI've got this feeling inside meDon't feel too good
If I close my eyesAnd fell asleep in this laybyWould it all subsideThe fever pushing the day by
Motor window windI could do with some fresh airCan't breathe too well
How much time escapes through our fingers while we deliberate if we should accept changes, especially changes we brought on ourselves? How long can we hide the truth from ourselves, deny it and make out stories to cover up for our fuckups? How long can we pretend we do not miss, do not hurt, do not yearn?
(She waits for me)I guess I should go now(Home waits for me)She's waiting to make up(She waits for me)To tell me she's sorry(Home waits for me)And how much she missed me(She waits for me)I guess I'm just burnt out(Home waits for me)I really should slow down(She waits for me)I'm perfectly fine but(Home waits for me)I just need to lie down
I love this part. You should try listening to it through some quality headphones to see how meticulously this is mixed and how wonderfully orchestrated. I love it even though and because I always swallow tears listening to the words he wrote; words spelling waste of time and murder of love. I love how the song progresses into the rhythm of repetitive stroke we use when regressing, to make hurt less prominent, more silent and round-edged. I love how he uses less and less new information and more and more self-consoling.
I love how the most cherished want disappears last, just as it always does.
(She waits for me)We'll grow old together(She waits for me)We'll grow old together(She waits for me)We'll grow old together...
I love this song because it is like fine art painting in a museum; under a lovely light source, kept out of harm's way, clean and in warm and dry place, marked with a title. And you read the title and you look at the painting and it is all present so much that you also feel the pain, not only see it second-hand.
Heartattack in a layby.
Motor idling continues. Fade to black.