We are so excited to be unveiling a new feature for imPRESSED – “Notes From The Artist.” Each chapter will highlight artists by giving them space to directly address listeners about their songs. We’ve asked each of these musicians to tell us more about their recent releases…. what inspired them? What’s their favorite lyrical line? What does the song mean to them? We hope you enjoy a bit of insight into the minds of these amazing creatives…. check out Chapter One of “Notes From The Artist” below!
1. Ashley Zarah – “My Boyfriend”
“I wrote ‘My Boyfriend’ to reassure someone that we were not in a relationship together, despite him brainwashing himself to believe otherwise. It seemed no matter how I said it, we were still struggling to understand each other. So, to be perfectly clear, I wrote down a list of reasons as to why a deeper relationship would never work. The first lyric is a standout. It has a different responsibility being the first line, and it really starts the story off with no reservations. It’s painfully relatable and sets the tone immediately:
‘My boyfriend doesn’t argue with the waitstaff ‘cause he ordered decaf – No.’
This line makes a total mockery of the childish behavior I was dealing with. I think we all know what it feels like to shrink in our seat when the company we’re with makes a scene at a restaurant over nothing. If in public, you feel embarrassed by the people around you, that’s likely a huge sign that you’re hanging out with the wrong people. In this example, how a person treats waitstaff is very indicative of their character. Being difficult for the sake of asserting dominance or getting attention is immature, major eye-roll behavior, and certainly not my idea of boyfriend material.”
2. Yves Paquet – “25-28”
“I wanted to capture the sound of 90s bands I listened to when I lived in a small countryside village in Belgium, to capture the sound of a summer. That’s why I wanted to keep all unnecessary baggage, instruments, melodie lines off. I think it’s a challenge to write simple songs in that sense. [It’s] a radical sound departure as I took a whole year to find my own signature and what I want to say musically. I love experimenting and at a time when so much new releases are put on hold until you can tour them, I feel like I should just press on because I just want to keep myself sane.
[My favorite lyric is] ‘My teacher said that I wasn’t prepared to face a world where I could get hurt.’ It’s true, I can be kinda naive in some ways and then bam, one summer you get a slap of real life, of real love. Lesson learned.”
3. Beth Keeping – “Cool Kids”
“‘Cool Kids’ is about bullying and how when we grow up the power dynamic often changes and we see things from a different perspective. I wrote it after I found out that someone who used to bully me at school now listens to my music – I hope it encourages others with a similar story to have confidence in the person they’ve grown up to be.
My favourite line is probably in the pre-chorus: ‘There are things I think because you said them’ because it’s so true! So many things said to us as teenagers create thought patterns that carry over in adulthood. I hope that when people hear that line, it helps them realize that some of the negative things they think about themselves aren’t true at all, but they likely came from a comment someone said years ago and have more to do with the bully’s own insecurities than the person they’re saying it to.”
4. Larry Gee – “Borrowed Time”
“‘Borrowed Time’ is about the time after the break up of a six-year relationship. The break up came out of nowhere so it was a shock and heartbreak all at once. I was all over the place, not taking care of myself, sleeping on multiple friends’ sofas, traveling the world. The chorus is me finding the balance through the experience and through therapy. The title is me coming to the realization that I do live on borrowed time and to just make the best of that time while I do have it.
[On his favorite lyric] – For me, it’s the line ‘Try to cry but no tears come out.’ I was depressed and mentally exhausted. That’s when I decided to go to therapy. I don’t write ‘Borrowed Time’ or the rest of the EP without that moment of realizing I needed help.”
5. TWO – “In This Rough”
“‘In This Rough’ is a break-up song. It is about recovering from the deepest heartbreak, learning forgiveness, and surrendering to the pain of rejection and loss in order to let go. We wrote the song at a time when I was going through it. The song helped carry me through to the next phase of my life. ‘Pull the knife out baby there is nothing to forgive’ is maybe my favorite line in the song. It manages to sum up all of the stages of grief in one sentence.” [- AJA]
“The song is a release. I think it captures the moment you stop feeling sorry for yourself after loss and instead start feeling optimistic about the future.” [- Dan]
**TWO’s new album can be streamed HERE!
6. B & The Hive – “Heart Beat”
“There is a strong sense of duality in this song that speaks to vulnerability while also being a source of strength. The lyrics span the full range of emotions from fear to excitement in what lies ahead. That is represented in the lyrics ‘I am terrified knowing things are gonna change’ while also acknowledging, ‘I don’t wanna stay the same.’ This speaks to the nature of life and it’s many cycles. The rhythm of the song represents the beating of a heart to propel the listener on a journey through the song. ‘Heart Beat’ is the pulse within.”