#2 Electricity (“Broken Heart” track by track)

I’m currently showcasing each track from my newest album, Broken Heart, in a “behind the song” blog series. I hope some listeners find it interesting or helpful. “Electricity” is the second track. For convenience, the lyrics and YouTube & Spotify streams are at the bottom of this post.

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Although not quite as punchy as “Broken Heart” for me, I found this one similarly very good at expressing the way I feel, particularly with the chorus, which is where my inspiration started. Actually, I think when it really started was when I was collecting words that might make good song titles for some reason (I do all kinds of wacky things in the hopes of writing a great song), and one of many words I had written down was “electricity.”

I thought about this romcom cliché where two people are soulmates and there’s this literal “spark” when their hands touch for the first time. Although I definitely don’t believe in soulmates in a literal or intellectual sense (nor have I been lucky enough to actually have a relationship that felt that way), I have definitely had crushes where I was tempted to believe that this was the perfect person for me, that our conversations and time together was just qualitatively better than either of us with anyone else, and that our personalities were perfect complements of each other… and yet, they didn’t agree. That’s a profoundly sad and disorienting experience that I’m sure many people have experienced, but again, it’s not a popular theme for songwriting. I suppose I could have written a clichéd happy love song called “Electricity” just like this one, but without the unrequited part, but that wouldn’t have been authentic for me, and to be honest, I find this angle more interesting anyway.

For me, the chorus came first and just hit the nail on the head, it just captured my emotions perfectly and hit hard with me. The verses and bridge didn’t come as easy, so I didn’t find them as punchy. My feeling is that they are very well-written and say what I want to say, but they’re just missing that oomph that makes them really strong – maybe because there isn’t much metaphor or original turns of phrase, so it doesn’t inspire the mind very much. I feel like as I gain experience, it gets easier and easier to write decent lyrics, but it never really gets any easier to write great ones – that takes time, effort, rewriting, trial and error, and a bit of luck. And of course it’s more likely to (but doesn’t always) arrive in a fit of inspiration than through sheer grit.

One thing I’ll say is I was proud of the way I wrote the first verse ambiguous. As a standalone song, the first verse sounds like the beginning of a love song, and the true theme is not revealed until you’re hit with the “it ends here if you don’t feel the same.”

One of my quirks that found its way into this lyric is my scientific mindfulness, for lack of a better term. Not that I’m a great scientist – I wouldn’t be surprised if the wording I used for “all it is, is waves in my brain” is inaccurate, but hey, it’s art, it doesn’t have to be accurate! But, for me, I’ve always found explanatory science comforting in dealing with both physical and emotional suffering – breaking things down into what they really are, and not just my perception, which only exists in my brain. I zoom out of my own fixations to see myself in the bigger picture of human life, or even life in general (“random little specks in space”). I guess it’s like the scientific answer to spiritual mindfulness (which I’ve never been able to get into).

“Electricity” is also a kind of word that ties this all together, because it can be that metaphorical “spark” between two people, but our brainwaves are also a type of electricity.

LYRICS

We fit so well together, like peas in a pod
I’m here for you, and you’re everything that I’m not
Oh, our adventures of every kind
You’re the perfect partner to my crimes

It feels like electricity, it feels like love
It’s like you’re every possibility that I’ve been dreaming of
But all it is, is waves in my brain
And it ends here if you don’t feel the same

Maybe it’s a mistake, but what can I do?
I’ve got all this love and I only want to share it with you
If our bodies connected I think the world would implode
With every pleasure magnified a thousandfold

Because it feels like electricity, it feels like love
It’s like you’re every possibility that I’ve been dreaming of
But all it is, is waves in my brain
And it ends here if you don’t feel the same

And we’re just random little specks in space
And there’s no such thing as soulmates
And “meant to be” is only in our minds
But thinking about you makes me feel so good
And though nothing ever works out like it should
A part of me wonders, what if I’ve been right the entire time?

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