#240 – Invisible Anchor

Type: Song / October 2016

Much like Escape Notes, this is a song that was pieced together from various leftover sections as I scrambled to complete the final songs for the album with a self imposed time restriction meaning they had to be short.

This, however, was pretty much complete a good 12 months earlier. The opening riff was intended to be a longer, jammier thing based on seeing Thurston Moore at Hebden Trades club, and that riff jam style from his The Best Day album. Of course, this was too long for my needs, so it not only ended up significantly shortened, but almost completely removed in the final mix, replaced instead with an off-key noise. Another section, the “changing…” bit was a re-use of the riff that opens Becoming Dust as I didn’t feel I’d utilised that enough. Although originally I had stolen it for Becoming Dust from this song when it didn’t look like Invisible Anchor wasn’t going to make the album.

During rehearsals prior, what there were, we refered to the middle section as the “Jazz bit” which reflects our old skool indie rock learnings that something so simple could be ‘jazzy’. It ended up much more noisy and freestyled during the live shows. It ends with a more direct retreading of the opening with some uncharacteristic (certainly for the album) shouting in a way that made me feel like I was hitting a Piskie Sit register of shoutiness.

Lyrically it was much less throwaway, though still squashing together stray thoughts from the album’s lyric pads. I’d had the opening line for ages and once the album title had been decided on, I had to get that on the record somewhere. “The Quantum Mirror” refers to The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August which I was reading at the time, and “searching for my sister” in the long grass of my childhood garden, forever out of grasp was a recurring dream when I was young (I am an only child).

The song is about the centre-points in our lives around which we pivot, some clear, some unclear. And how they or we or both will fade and break over time. Sometimes the disintegration of those totems is a great thing, sometimes it leaves a ghost that haunts you for the rest of your life. A highwater mark of joy or despair, but one we measure all future occurrences against. Of course, “only” wanting to be the invisible anchor around which everything else pivots is both incredibly arrogant and narcissistic, but weirdly resigned as well.

Perhaps because of where it fell in the tracklisting of the album, I always consider it a jarring song that doesn’t quite work. It’s the most reminiscent of earlier ODAS work, not just in pace but in it’s quick use and removal of decent melodic ideas, but before they really get chance to settle in the song. If there had been a full time band in place when it was created, a longer more fulfilling version might have been created, but it wasn’t to be. It was later covered by Buen Chico and they did a better job of making it work as a whole song.

I only wanted to be the invisible anchor
but like an absent father
as my grip loosened, my fists clenched tighter.

I only wanted to see, to be the Quantum Mirror
and find my long lost sister
in worlds where grass grows taller.
And I won’t heal and I won’t die.
And I won’t heal and I won’t die.

Changing: the weight of memories coalesce to rust.
Ending: the hate of enemies acquiesce to dust.
No King’s or God’s left to save you now.
The scream of age will break you now.

Became a highwater mark.
Became a highwater mark.
Are you singing with us?

I only wanted to be the invisible anchor
but as the world grows smaller fate has its funny little way
to twist and leave you sad and hollow.


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