The Inside Track: The Spider Ferns 'Who Stands Alone'

Words by Kelly Fleek of The Spider Ferns

This song is so full of my heart that I'm still overcome by it every time I sing it: band practice, live performance, or even just hearing it streaming pulls me into the moment it was written —it deeply and intimately records the journey I took in caring for my mother as she was dying.  You can hear my heart breaking as I sing, raging at the world around me with every word I release. I was being torn in every conceivable direction and I finally broke.  The isolation, fear, rage, compassion, and exhaustion built into a loneliness I wasn't sure I could endure.  I had distanced myself from my brother, my children, my life, my friends.  Conflict wound its way into my life as I shut down more and more.  Alton was by my side in all ways from band member to partnership: my one connection to reality for what seemed like an eternity.  I still marvel at how my family rallied and held me, and how they are still holding me today, a year after my mother's passing.  

The night this song came together, I was thumping around on my bass when Alton did that thing he does —just feels my vibe and the perfect notes begin to ring from his guitar.  We really have a wild sort of magic together, even when the world is on fire.  

I started singing and 'Who Stands Alone' exposed itself as fluidly as if I'd already written it.  There were almost no revisions to that first draft lyrically.  In one moment, I'd found the words I needed to say to my family about where I was, who I was, and what this crazy shit was that was happening to my heart, and what I was seeing happen to theirs.  I cried the entire time I wrote it.  I cried on stage performing it and then I cried as I finally recorded it.  It is truly the powerful and honest sound of me howling and begging the universe to hear me —begging for understanding and help.   The best gift was that my mother loved the demo, and this song ultimately paved the way for us to make some headway on some complicated issues between us before she was gone.   It is truly beautiful to me to watch a crowd dance and feel it all with me, and I will always love the love this song brings.  

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