#241 – Escape Notes

Type: Song / Date: October 2016

Although not officially completed until the lyrics were finally wrapped up between the final two days of Greenmount Studio sessions for the album, the song has parts stemming way back, most notably from “#182 – Ignore The North” which had a full set of lyrics but was never felt to be fully completed. The intro, part of the middle and the final part of this song are taken from that. The two sections towards the end (from “See the one… ” to the end of that lyrical section) were musical taken from “#233 – Comstock” which had been written with the album in mind but was too slow and long. As with Ignore The North, musical sections that were intended to be long and looping ended up taking up mere seconds within this song.

There is a debt to Runaround Kids here, but they went and split up didn’t they so who cares what they think? They were a great band and I envied being in a band that was that powerful and forceful. I was too afraid to be that full on, and front on. There is a vague feeling of NOFX here too in the anthemic section towards the end and I had been listening to them a little, though probably enjoyed their biography more than sitting through a whole album.

This desperate stitching together of left over bits felt apt for the song. Originally an attempt to write about “England, Today” (Cameron’s sleeping island was an original lyric, but in the wake of Brexit was not just wrong due to the name reference. Raging Island was more appropriate) it was part of the new phase of writing ‘honest’ songs about reality, but even if not massively politically motivated and just trying to paint a picture, the names and references just felt forced.

The title Escape Notes had come just a couple of weeks before as i picked up Low’s Exit Papers reissue on vinyl. Radiohead’s Exit Music was in the same vien and something along those lines felt appropriate and it became a song both about leaving things behind on a personal level and a more politically themed exodus in the wake of Brexit. My first thought that next day had been “I’m leaving England”. Except, of course, most of us are too cowardly and lazy to do so. And it was also very much a time of thinking of life beyond Wakefield too. Given certain and various events going on at that time, it had to be seriously considered seriously for the first time. So it is a comment on myself, on society and a kind of farewell note to reasonable society as well as the album, as I was looking for a short sharp shock to close it off.

Quite possibly because of its appearance at the end of a recording run for the album, the absolute brevity of this felt like a revelation at the time. Although sonically a return to the earlier song types we were moving away from, something about the structure and confidence of it made it feel like a success and suitably different to the other songs completed at the same time.

 

I don’t have high ambitions, I just want the truth to make you burn deep inside.

Could it ever be the same, I slowly freeze as I feel the change, deep inside.

It was your choice, all along, you tried so hard and you chose wrong

And I’ll hate you for changing and I’ll hate you for staying the same.

Pick a side, both will lose.

See this one build his shelter in the storm.

See the one who finds his fortune far from home.

We will see escape in decline.

There will be dishonour in our time.

And I can’t feel unless in retrograde of teenage memory and dream.

And I can’t feel unless in retrograde of teenage memory and dream.

 

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