This is our truth, tell us yours
There are songs in this collection that I imagine to be replete with context and ideas, brimming with philosophy or cultural meaning. That might be the case, or it might be pretension on my part.
Jem reminded me, with her remix of the seven songs in seven days concept, that songs can just speak to us as individuals.
As an album International Velvet came at a time in my life when I was struggling to cope; songs like Road Rage and Mulder and Scully were ideal sing along pub fodder, songs that could match anything that the Britpop bands could do. But by the time I was living on my own, teaching myself to play guitar again, Strange Glue was the song I was picking out a chord at a time.
I don’t believe Catatonia were trying to write a song that meant something to me. It’s that happy coincidence that the words that suited their purpose can mean something to me, and the beauty of Cerys’s voice. Along with Born a Girl by the Manics, it’s a song that evokes a space, a time, and that moment when the darkness is not a friend but a prison where the street lights clicking off is the rattling of the gaoler’s keys setting me free.