Free – Graffiti6: Song Review, Years Later

Free

running that bass up my spine
while Jamie sings, heart in throat

and the bells pulling
i believe, falling, i believe

“…hard to breathe
when you’re not near”

every one you ever loved
walks
streets and alleys full
of young people seeking
something inarticulate

“I can’t live, oh, without you”
and the city and the river

and the piano player
takes it to the streets

and Jamie’s arms are Jesus-wide
pounds on glass
and he pleads with wind
“embrace
the air i breathe… cause
you were my shelter”

and a perfect tambourine
and that clappy Motown

“set me free, off my knees”

and the sun and the girl
and the empty apartment
dream moment of Western
perfection aching, lost

this is your world, why
does it come down?
to a drum chained
to backbeat, heartbreak

orchestral strings over

fists raised, not in anger
but in frustrated, broken love

“set me free, off my knees”
backbeat, heart over
orchestral string break

bells and tambourines
cymbal splash
that’s how fast it changes

“off my knees”

aching sun shines
every one you ever
that’s how fast

I first heard this song years ago, driving home from the supermarket in my epic/tragic little blue car. Perhaps its tinny radio (the histories evoked, such long roads and family moments) was the perfect instrument to pull me into this pretty much perfect pop song, the ache that cuts through it. I had to pull to the side of the road.

It’s been something like seven years since then, and the simple, note-perfect craft of this still gets to me. Graffiti6 deliver a classic pop song, and this video captures an essential mood, mode, rite of passage. There are no surprises here, no tricks, it’s straightforward by the numbers heartache. And it works. And it doesn’t matter that I don’t know the people who made this, and they don’t know me, and we’re unlikely ever to meet.

 I am every person in their video in turn, and Jamie Scott sings every love ever lost, and every moment when we pick ourselves up, face our frailties, turn to the sun. 

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