Favorite Song: Orlando Weeks ‘Safe In Sound’ – waiting for creation

It’s been a while and a half since the Maccabees parted ways. It’s not like Orlando Weeks left us on our own since then, there’s been “Gritterman” and quite a few views into his visual arts (re: his Instagram). But I am still over the moon that there’s something else now, something that has those tender, light notes of “Given to the Wild”, especially “Child”.

But “Safe in Sound” is not a Maccabees song, even though it might start like one. There’s a certain restless moving, expanding, kaleidoscope-movements of sounds, bits and pieces of Weeks’ vocals cut together with drums and a horn section, a guitar, synths maybe, like an ever-blossoming collage (which Weeks also dabbled with on his Instagram). I love the ending which is such a departure from anything that the Maccabees would ever have done. It’s just a little moment but this Kate Bush-like dissonance and whispering is really interesting because it might hint and something more to come.

 

The lyrics are gorgeous but also evasive. If it weren’t for the rather sharp ending (“cut to pieces, torn to ribbons, caustic in your criticism”), I would have leaned towards a song about waiting for something that builds, grows. I even thought of pregnancy, with lines like “now this endless slow passage to wait” and “a growing pain but it’s holding us so nearly”).

In fact, there’s so many little things in the whole song that allude to expecting a child (“sleeping on a name, I would wait forever, to hear that sound you’ll make”), that the ending threw me so much, that every other idea is submerged under this imagery of waiting for a child.

But of course, just because one school essay interpretation can’t get out of its rut doesn’t mean that you can’t. It might be about so many things. Pregnancy and children in themselves can be metaphors for creating things. Waiting for something to evolve can happen in all areas of life. It could even be a song about the creation of a song, that journey from that first idea that is such a safe thing inside your head, to the first timid movements, the long way to a song that feels complete, up to the moment you have to show it to others and bear their thoughts. Or it could be something completely different.

There’s songs that perfectly capture that one feeling or moment in life and then there’s songs that capture so many of them.

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