Driving Music

06. Settle

Driving Music – Settle by Driving Music

Hate me for the time that I’ve been wasting
Push me for the loss that I’ve been faking
Love me for a while just to keep things moving

If you’re settled with settling down
You’re settled with settling down

Fold your eyes when you are dying to see it
Kiss out the loud breath of all the sleepy people
Hate me for a while just to see how it feels

If you’re settled with settling down
You’re settled with settling down
When you’re settled with settling down
You’re settled with settling down
You’re settled with

Losing your voice
Without a word
That can get you past the sunrise
Through the night
Where things are going to be going
Like a highway
That you wish could get you nowhere
So the asphalt and the wind could hold you

If you’re settled with settling down
You’re settled with settling down

Then settle down.

. Cymbals by Gustavo Matos.

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“Settle” is a punk rock song torn apart, than put together again with no money, band or functioning duct tape. The song feels like some of its parts are forever missing, even though it came to me that way, broken like that. There’s no bass, only a few drum pieces hammering the song like noise from a construction site, acoustic guitars and one electric guitar that sounds more like static, even though I was playing real notes in it. The song sounds like a vacuuming black hole, or at least how I imagine a black hole would sound if there were sounds in outer space at all.

“Settle” was the very last song to be recorded for Comic Sans, and I wasn’t even sure it would/should be on the album. I’ve heard from a few people that it’s their favorite song on the album, and I definitely can’t say I saw that coming. Sometimes it felt like too much of a departure from the other songs, and while I welcome that, I was afraid it could kill the flow of the album. My first instinct was to put it as one of the very last tracks, between “Unimpressed” and “Skatepark”. It worked alright, but to have “Watching the Wind” flow into “Saturday” created a weird valley in the middle of the album, that kind of made both songs melt together and lose a lot of their strength. It was on the very final days of mastering that I thought of putting “Settle” between those two songs, and it immediately clicked.

I’ve been asked more than a few times about the sample that opens and finishes the song. Who’s speaking? What language is that? What exacly does it say? Well, I have answers for those first two questions, and I think they also offer a reason for the lack of answer to the third question: it’s a recording of James Joyce reading “Finnegan’s Wake”. So even though Joyce is one of my all time favorite artists, I think it’s pretty clear why I don’t know exacly what the recording says, even though I could get my copy of “Finnegan’s Wake” and transcribe it. Does anybody know what Joyce was saying in that book? Does it really matter? I often feel James Joyce’s mature prose is more about sounds, rhythm and imagery than it is about meaning, and the inherent musicality of this recording kind of adds to that point.

I didn’t really plan on having any samples on the album at all before I was already adding them to the mix, even though I was listening to the Books a lot when making the album. In “Afterglow”, I felt there was a lot of space in the first minutes of the song, and for some reason I remembered these recordings used by english courses to train people’s ears to the sounds of the language. I got a CD straight from an english book – and I hope they never sue me for that – and on the first track that was a character that came from Brazil. It felt too right to let it go, and that’s pretty much the first words you hear on the album. With “Settle”, I thought the sample would make a better transition from the previous song, but I had no idea what kind of sample I could use. A few days latter, I remember a friend had told me about this rare James Joyce recording, and I thought it’d be interesting to cover such a wide spectrum of the english language in two samples, going from basic english lessons to the destruction and reinvention of the language by Joyce. It’s a pretty ambitious thing to think about your own work, but the fact that people can’t fly doesn’t keep them from dreaming about it, does it?

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