Editor’s note: We’re so thrilled to be back for a new year of Behind the Hoots and continuing our monthly celebration of our favourite lyrics! Thank you to everyone who contributed and read the series last year. For those interested, Behind the Hoots is a collaborative project by our writers and guest contributors where we analyze our favourite lyrics of the month in question. If you would like to contribute to a future post, you can reach us here.
“What Light (Never Goes Dim)” – Aidan Knight (Lyrics by Aidan Knight)
Sometimes we dance. You have convinced me to dance.
Right in the middle of the melancholic and disquieted intimacy that is Aidan Knight’s Each Other, sits “What Light (Never Goes Dim).” Its extraordinary light angling out from the panoply of synthesizers, horns, and guitar reverb in the tracks it’s surrounded by. With its opening lyric, “I’m not in love with the sound of my voice,” “What Light” fits alongside its partnering studies on the (often frustrating) creative process (“The Arp”) and the struggles of being a musician (“Funeral Singers,” “You Are Not Here”). But when Knight moves away from his anxieties as an artist, he reveals a constant in his life and a source of stability: a girl first seen drinking beer at a crowded show.
In “a testament of your powers to convince,” and a simple showing of love and upmost trust, Knight croons, “sometimes we dance. You have convinced me to dance.” From this moment of clarity and honesty, an intersection between music and love, Knight grows louder as does the fluttering synthesized heart in the song’s background. We hear a reigniting of creative powers, a punch through the dark clouds of uncertainty. All powered by love.
– Laura Stanley
“Palms Lose” – Casey Mecija (Lyrics by Casey Mecija)
She said it’s dangerous / the isolation of a dream
It’s so easy to lose yourself in your own mind: imagining a future, running over a presentation, even thinking about your crush. With “Palms Lose,” Casey Mecija seems to be pushing herself—and her listener—to recognize the loneliness of this singular fantasy. Sung against a sensual backdrop of synths and multi-tracked vocals, Mecija’s words ring true and suggest a move towards genuine connection.
– Brennan McCracken
“Colonial” – Mark Mills (Lyrics by Mark Mills)
Systematic racism’s got to go and the sense of entitlement that we value more/And everyone’s ideas of how to progress need to shut the fuck up, listen, the voice of those oppressed by the white colonial programs that destroy.
Mark Mills’ upbeat electro-pop is easy to groove to, so it’s quite a surprise when a song about Canada’s treatment of its aboriginal peoples. In the highlighted lyrics, he focuses in, quite bluntly, on something a large volume just don’t get. No matter what efforts the privileged population makes to improve things, it won’t be useful until they listen to exactly those they’re trying to help. There’s a lot more biting criticism to this song, including Mills saying, “Canada is guilty of genocide.”
“Vampire” – Mu (Lyrics by Francesca Belcourt and Brittney Rand)
You tried to suck me dry. Sink your teeth in and imprison me.
“Vampire” metaphorically represents the people in an artist’s life that dine on the spirits of creators. The people that often leach off the success of musicians. They are the naysayers that like to suck up your happiness. They are the people who offer people opportunities in return for “exposure”. This is the anthem for anybody who creates things.