You Never Can Tell

Well well well – if it isn’t my old friend writing another song with barely any chords in it. This is all about atmosphere rather than melody, frankly, so have a listen to it if you want to, then read the lyrics then listening to meanderings. Or don’t. No skin off my nose either way, tbh.

Now go buy it (cost to you: £0).

Lyrics

Look at you
All in your satin and lace
A certain smile on your face
Put me back in my place
You must have known
When I walked through the door
I’d end up crawling the floor
You’d hear me begging for more

Look at me
Like I’m a cat in a tree
Like I’m boat lost at sea
My god – what’s happened to me?
I thought I knew
Now there’s a flicker of doubt
Like that I’ve been found out
And I found out I found out the hard way

Tie me, bind me
In ribbons and lace
Drag me straight down to hell
It just goes to show
You think you know me
But you never can tell

Now look at me
You’ve got me down on my knees
Whispering ‘please’
I beg for release

Look at you
Like a cat with the cream
I’ll be your familiar
And you’ll be my queen

Eyes sparkle darkly in the heat of the night
Black nylon shimmers against the white of your thighs
Strip me and whip me and hang me to dry
Now that you own me you own me you own me you own me…

Tie me, bind me
In ribbons and lace
Drag me straight into hell
It just goes to show
You think you know me
But you never can tell what I’m capable of
Tie me, bind me
In ribbons and lace
Drag me straight down to hell
It just goes to show
You think you know me
But you never can tell

Thoughts

I’ve been stuck in a rut. Not just in the usual psychological sense, but in the musical sense. I’ve found myself obsessively writing songs with the same kind of mid-paced swing as I’ve Got a Picture, and in the same key (A minor, fact fans!)

Bored and frustrated, I started hitting the muted guitar strings and then doing a fairly classic blues move of a quick, thudding G back to muted strings. I found that I really liked the chunky groove that resulted and assembled a backing track fairly easily. I really liked the sort of ‘insistent’ feel of a bass drum flat on the beat, so the track was built up from that – with a mix of electronic drums, a palm-muted bass, some keyboard and Moog effects and so on till I’d built up a short, pounding rhythm track.

But what to sing!

In this sort of song – which is 80% one chord (E minor, fact fans!) you actually can’t do a great deal beyond what I did hear – which is a fairly rote blues melody. For extra verisimilitude, I used a distorted mic sound to give it a bit of extra grit.

The chorus was a little bit jazzier, so I livened it up with a walking bass line and some additional percussion so that it opens up a bit from the tenseness of the verses.

Now, all this talk of tension and release gives you some clue about where the lyrical content came from. To me, it sort of sounded slightly crabbed, maybe a little sexy, and with a definite feeling of obsession.

From that sprang lyrics which I guess you’d say turn that psychological obsession into a metaphor for physical bondage. I guess it’s about how sexual desire can trap us… and dear sweet creeping jesus am I still writing this? I’m bored now.

Go away.