'She's a little confused, about the person that she's meant to be...'
Often when I write songs, I create characters and situations inspired by people I’ve observed as I’ve gone about doing normal things. I’ll sit in a cafe and wonder what people’s lives are like - what stories they have to tell. I first did this with my song ‘Train of Thought’ on #ASongInSevenDays and has since proven to be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
This concept of ‘people watching’ was recommended to me by the songwriter Jimmy Webb in his book ‘Tunesmith’. He rightly suggests that wherever you look you can find inspiration. There is so much that passes us by every day that we can turn into pieces of art with a little bit of imagination. The amazing thing is the stories we create about the things we see aren’t based in reality at all - we just listen, watch and create, not really knowing anything about the people we see.
In this case, I pictured a couple who are experiencing some issues with their relationship. They talk late at night about their problems, but it never seems to solve anything. As individuals, they aren’t where they want to be and they’re wondering how they fit into the wider world. The night draws in and they both agree that the right thing to do is sleep on it - put the conversation to bed, to see what tomorrow will bring.
'Time flies by when you're in a hurry...'
The song follows the conversation from the perspective of both people in the relationship - the first verse being the worries of one individual and the second being the reassurances. But both agree that it’s not right to carry on talking right now - they’re too tired and it isn’t solving anything.
Visually, I pictured these scenes occurring late at night, so it seemed fitting to create a ‘dreamy’ music-scape. The tape loop of guitar at the beginning has always felt like a lullaby to me, being softly repeated. I tried to make everything else that fits around it in the track very light - I even got the brushes out to play the drums.
You’ll have noticed that there’s a bit of brass playing in the song, too! It’s my good friend Dan Jones who’s usually doing a fantastic job of sorting out all my branding - but in this case I made him put down the pencil and get the trombone out! I’m so glad that I asked him. He’s a superb player and I knew the track needed something a little different - trombone was the perfect choice.
There’s something to be said for the order you put tracks in when it comes to putting out an EP - and ‘To Bed’ being the final track of this one is no coincidence. As soon as I put pen to paper, I knew this would be the closing number on ‘Taking My Time’. I wanted the guitar loop to fade off at the end, as though it’s gently falling to sleep…