I was just thinking through the veracity of my previous statement that I don’t write intensely autobiographical songs. There’s a nagging doubt in my mind that I’m possibly more autobiographical than I wishfully think I am (i.e. there’s a nagging doubt in my mind that I’m a great big liar).
I’m not sure analysing too much is a good idea, and I end up feeling like (and, yes, probably sounding like) a wanker when I do, but I discuss writing lyrics reasonably regularly with Jack and I usually reassert that I don’t write directly about myself. Very often.
I’m mostly concerned with lyrics sounding right. I don’t tend to think too hard about the individual meaning of lines, I kind of go with what sounds good to my ear. Or what looks good to my eyes if I’m writing it down I guess. So songs probably do start off directly in my own experience, but I try and make them as general as possible. Or try and exaggerate anything personal to make it more than just about me.
Clouded is probably a good example. I don’t think I’ve ever really felt that lost. I think everyone knows what it feels like to be physically or metaphorically far from home, and of course, I’ve had my fair share of confusion. But the extremes to which the lyrics in Clouded go aren’t drawn from my life.
But then I think about some of the phrases I’ve included in different songs and they could come straight from me. They probably reasonably accurately summarise my state of mind. I’m not telling you which ones though.
And I guess that’s the point. Perhaps my songs are more autobiographical than I’d like to admit to, but I do deliberately obfuscate that fact. Maybe because I don’t want to be that public, maybe I don’t think people want to hear about me, maybe songs are better the more people can relate to them, I’m not sure.
They’re only lyrics. I just write ’em. I don’t think that’s a very neat conclusion. Sometimes you can’t wrap a blog post up in a clever way. Or sometimes you just can’t be bothered.