https://soundcloud.com/haertsmusic/eva

Glide down slow, it’s over
Don’t blame the ones that let you down
Don’t hit the ground,
Things only get harder
The sun just don’t care
Where you go down, down

Eva, leave a light on when you go
And I need it, I need it when
I’m the one who’s gliding to the floor
I’m the one who’s gliding to the floor

Changing is hard
Once you get older
Hiding our teeth
Won’t cry us down
Don’t say you lived
Don’t say that I’m wiser
I look in your eyes
And I see mine, mine

Eva, leave a light on when you go
And I need it, I need it when
I’m the one who’s gliding to the floor
Eva, evil animal
Eva lied when you go
And I need it, I need it when
I’m the one who’s gliding to the floor x4

<Instrumental Break>

Leave a light on
Leave a light on
Leave a light on
When you go
Leave a light on

~~~

HAERTS are a sweet indiepop group based out of Brooklyn, New York. I’ve only discovered them due to Spotify’s weekly Discover playlist. I have to give them a shout-out because their (free) program is awesome. Spotify pays attention to the bands/playlists that you follow and listen to, then each Monday it generates a playlist of 30 songs depending on what your preferences are. I’ve found a lot of great new bands this way and really recommend music fans give it a try.

The song “Eva” was actually part of three unreleased songs by the band that made their debut in a short visual project the band made working with artist Julian Klincewicz. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty fucking weird but definitely true to the noir Brooklyn hipster scene. There is a full minute of a blurry naked dude rolling down a sandy hill. But I will include the link out of respect for the amazing centerpiece of the video, “Eva.”

Haerts 2

Image courtesy of @haertsmusic.

Now the song itself…is clean, pure, synthpop bliss. The majority of the track keeps building and building much like the flight of Icarus, until the instrumental break after which the bitter reality all comes crashing down.

This is a song about a break-up. The attitude in the first stanza conveys that the narrator has finally started to accept that the relationship is really over/or that the two characters are breaking up. The first line is so potent, so visceral. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being on the wrong side of the break-up spectrum, there can be a kind of bargaining period where you still fool yourself into believing things can work out. “Glide down slow, it’s over.” There’s no salvaging this, it’s all about damage control and lessening the impact now.

Of course, if it was that simple, Haerts wouldn’t have written a goddamn song about it. It turns out moving on or accepting the end is something that is really, really hard to do. Despite the narrator’s seeming acceptance of the break-up, there are sections that cast doubt over it:

“I look in your eyes, and I see mine, mine.” The narrator imagines that their ex still has feelings for them, that the possibility of a future together is still there. Whether it is imagined or tailored to reality, it is difficult to say. I imagined this verse as almost the act of denial on the part of the narrator, that the other party isn’t genuine in their breaking up.

“Eva, evil animal. Eva, lied when you go.” This is the only time in the song the narrator expresses serious frustration, perhaps even anger. Now this reminds me of the different stages of grief. Much of the song can be seen as a mixture of bargaining (“Leave the light on”) and an attempt at acceptance with the previous verse having strains of denial. According to the 5 stages of grief formula, the final step is true acceptance.

We sort of get that…depending on your perspective. The song builds as Icarus continues to soar high and proud in the juxtaposed imagery to the song. When two people are in the peak of their relationship and brimming with happiness, there is a component that feels almost invincible, like nothing could ever harm their relationship. Sometimes that doesn’t work out and instead, the whole plan is ruined and you’re left with a pair of charcoaled wings being falling back to reality. By the end of the song, there is no more aggression or denial. There’s an acceptance that the relationship really is ending, but the narrator makes themselves vulnerable to the fact that they can’t move on and must deal with not having the other person in their life. What they make instead is a plea that the other party “leaves the light on,” and doesn’t completely leave the narrator’s life forever. Perhaps it’s by staying friends, perhaps it’s being open to trying again in the future.

The bottom line is that break-ups hurt. They rarely go smooth, and most often there is collateral damage. You can’t avoid the fall, but you can at least not let it destroy you. However if you are not careful, if you obsess over it and keep hanging onto threads of “what-ifs,” maybe you’ll be done for before you’ve even hit the ground.

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