The Inside Track: These People Here - 'Sea of Trees'

"Evil Twin" was the working title for this song, as it is the mirror of a previous song, “Fading Light,” on our first release, A Bitter Seed. “Fading Light” alternates bars of 5 with bars of 6.  “Evil Twin/Sea of Trees” alternates bars of 6 with bars of 5.  MATH!!!!  I think the working title probably had some influence on my ideas while writing the lyrics— it definitely has a more aggressive vibe, where “Fading Light” is more wistful and dreamy.  

I think the odd time signatures are a good match for the anxious/uncomfortable themes I tend to write about in this band, and I enjoy the challenge of trying to weave my vocals into those off-kilter rhythms.  My lyrical approach with new songs is pretty consistent.  I’ll usually just sing whatever comes to my head while we’re playing new material, and see what shows up.   This song was conceived as an allegory— forests are regarded as places of peace and tranquility, but also dark and dangerous in lore.  They’re not places you want to be lost in when the sun goes down.  The title refers to those harmless looking trees turning into a menacing sea of green when you’re panicked and can’t find your way out.  The lyrics reflect feeling trapped in a situation that seemed good… until it wasn’t.  There are themes of panic and intense fear/dread, but there’s also a question of whether that terror is the thing destroying you, not the situation itself.

I think this song is kind of the turning point, emotionally, on the record, at least for the major themes of dealing with a challenging entanglement.  It is, unironically, preceded, by the self-explanatory song, "Red Flags," and followed by "Pêche," where I'm working out the reality of cutting the cord on that relationship.  So, y'know, it bridges that gap and pushes us past the intense conflict and into the resolution and aftermath in the later songs.

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