Behind The Lyrics: Jesse tells the meaning and the story of 'Eyes Closed'

*This is an old restored post


The Narrative asked on Facebook for questions about everything that involves the band. A lot of people, asked about the lyrics of their songs, and they started the first 'series' with the history of "Eyes Closed". Check out below the post on Facebook made by Jesse.

Read also about 'Don't Want To Fall'


The full post

So it seems like a pretty large group of the AMA post was wondering what specific songs were about or what inspired them. We'll play ball, and we'll start this off with Eyes Closed, since a number of you asked about that song.

I'm just going to give the full ins and outs here, which are a bunch of things I'm not sure I've ever talked about before...

Anyway, the song was originally built off of the verse guitar part, which was something I had been toying with for a while and people kept saying "is that a song you're working on?" and I'd say "nah, not really", and they'd respond "well it should be". So, I decided I'd lay something down for it, and see how it builds.

When I wrote it, I was pretty fresh off of a breakup with someone who meant a lot to me, and it was difficult for me to cope with it in a lot of ways.

Lyrically, the song is pretty direct.. I mean, there's some metaphorical stuff going on, but overall it's pretty literal. I'm essentially recalling a car ride down the coast of California that we had together.

The truth is, this person taught me a lot as far as what I know about writing. She taught me from a poetry perspective, but I was always translating that to song writing in my brain, and I think that gave me an interesting perspective. In writing the entire "Just Say Yes" EP, I kept looking at certain things as a challenge to prove myself to her, even though the relationship was already in the past. Not that even NOW do I feel close to really "knowing" how to write great lyrics, but I had a pretty specific focus when writing those songs, which I now look upon in a nostalgic way.

At the time of this car ride, we were already sort of on the outs with one another. There was some emotional friction; a barrier I couldn't get through. Listening back on the song now (it has been a while), I guess I was feeling that pretty strongly!

Not many specific lyrical questions in the thread - though if anyone has any more I'll gladly answer them - but I saw some stuff about "I pushed your hand away from the radio", and I know tons of people have commented about the "oh my god, you're beautiful" line.

As for the former, it's a totally literal line. We were arguing over something until that point when you just stop saying anything to one another, and I had music playing that she went to turn off. I'd turn it back on, she'd turn it back off, I'd turn it back on, etc., when at one point I pushed her hand back when she tried to turn it off. I just felt really awful about that, and later on the whole thing felt like one of those "What were we even arguing about?" moments, and not worth it at all to get so worked up over. "I should have just let it go" - not just the hand, but the whole of it.

The latter, "oh my god, you're beautiful". Oh, how I battled with this line. It's just on the border for me where I'm like "this is preeeetttyyy cheesy", but at the same time felt genuine... like, I remember having this moment while watching her sleep in the car of "oh my god, she's beautiful"... and I guess at the end of the day I felt like if it's something that felt real, I should throw it down and see how it plays out. Suzie also gave it the "ok" (we actually has a specific discussion over that line because I was so unsure about it), and for me the Suzie "ok" is like the most legit stamp of approval. Turned out a lot of people really related to this line, and I think that's awesome. I'm not sure I'll ever write a line like THAT again, but it's a fascinating documentation of my lyrical experimentation for me.

Anyway, that's a whole lot already! I'll be amazed if anyone reads the whole thing. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to drop them here and I'll answer them truthfully (to a fault).

We'll do one of these a week. I'm gonna try to get Suzie to get down with "Don't Want To Fall" next week!

Jesse


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