Behind the Hoots: March

Charlotte Cardin
Charlotte Cardin

“No Star” – Greys (Lyrics by: Shehzaad Jiwani)

Don’t shoot / I’m not the enemy / They want you to be scared of me / I’m everybody’s strategy / Where do I turn with no star in the sky? 

There was one in your class, in every class: the kid that became the scapegoat. The one who got blamed for things that happened even when they were absent from school. Maybe they made a mistake at some point, had an accident, hurt someone worse they they intended. From that point on, there was no recovery, no way out of their reputation.

Now we’re all grown up, the stakes are higher, pretty much life and death, and the story is the same: Who can we blame for tragedies and atrocities? How in God’s name can someone get out from under the shadow and pall of ignorance, racism and hate when that’s where they’ve been marginalized to all their lives?

Jim Di Gioia

“4.5” – Nennen (Lyrics by Amy MacDonald)

I wanted something
secretly, shamefully, quietly, painfully
I wanted something
but I never said anything
now I brace myself constantly
for the sheer sickening feeling
of never receiving it

Even though “4.5” clocks in at 10:38 seconds, the song sole lyrics are the ones above. They are delivered, as if she’s curled in a ball under a blanket, by Amy MacDonald (Nennen) in a whisper that’s shrouded by a think layer of guitar reverb. It’s all so weighted down by confusion and self-loathing. In the last two minutes or so of “4.5” the instrumentals turn the song to chaos as MacDonald tries to unbraid the gnarled regret that lives in her heart. The “sickening feeling” does not leave though.

– Laura Stanley 

“Like It Doesn’t Hurt” – Charlotte Cardin feat. Husser (Lyrics by Charlotte Cardin)

You know I act, you know I act,
like it doesn’t hurt no, like it doesn’t hurt no
And no effect, And no effect,
you drive me in the dirt oh,
like it doesn’t hurt, no

This is the song of a toxic relationship reaching its boiling point, where both partners are being soothed when the other person suffers. Cardin’s goosebump-inducing delivery and the lyrics, which often repeat and restate certain lines, help to illustrate the hurt and pain that results in such a poisonous exchange.

“Constantine Believer” – Shotgun Jimmie (Lyrics by Jim Kilpatrick)

I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I believe in the Constantines.

In fewer than 15 words, Shotgun Jimmie encapsulates what a generation (maybe more than a generation) of Canadian music fans feel. For many, the guys of the band are heroes, but even if you’re not a Constantines fan, the sentiment is relatable. Many talk about how music can “save lives” and it’s a universal fact that even when you’re hating everything, you can still love a good song or album.

Michael Thomas

“The Slightest Touch” – No Museums (Lyrics by Michael Betmanis)

Breaking a bone like the memory is not true
The summer hand turns to a winter tooth
Somethings that were soft now appear to hurt
Sometimes I think that things aren’t worth the time

There is a mystery surrounding No Museums (formerly Twin Library) and that mystery is nicely reflected in his lyrics. The words are opaque, to say the least, but that makes his music all the more intriguing, and it is frankly fun to try and decipher what is being said.

I’ve listened and read through the lyrics to “Slightest Touch” several times and I have formed the opinion (just my opinion, I admit) that the song is how our impressions of events that occurred during a love affair change once that love has passed. What we once held to be true now seem false. It’s as hurtful as the loss of the love itself.

– Mark Anthony Brennan

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