This song is a little bit weird. That’s because it’s a song which is about the singer’s child. That’s fine with me, but when you compare it to the rest of the music world it really reveals something – songwriters only know how to write about romance.
Why is this? The instinctive answer is to say that writers tend to look for the most powerful feelings for inspiration, and in most people’s day to day lives that is love (rather than, say, grief or euphoria). The exceptions tend to come as a result of drugs. Primal Scream, The Weeknd, Oasis, Michael Head and many more have written songs inspired or about drugs. But even these artists will only write about two things – drugs (and the feelings of euphoria inspired by them) and romance.
And this obsession with love does not explain the obsession with romance. There are many other kinds of love, such as for friends, children and England football team. It speaks volumes that the subject which has been most covered in music is probably the last one – although musicians have covered things like friends (Best Friends by Palma Violets) and children (Hey Jude), they’re rarer than the four yearly England world cup anthem release.
I really don’t know why this is. It isn’t some sort of male aversion to emotion, which singer/songwriters seem don’t see to have when they make music – even rappers such as Kanye West and Drake will rap things they would never say for fear of looking ‘gay’, like ‘I want your high love and emotion endlessly’. But only in relation to women.
Loyle-Carner shows how can singing about something else can really work. For one thing, it’s interesting because it’s different. Moreover, you know that the artist actually gives a shit about what it is they’re singing about. That’s because they’ve made an active choice to sing about it, rather than simply slipping back into the default mode. I, for example, have no doubt that Loyle-Carner really cares about his unborn younger sister. On the other hand, I don’t think Jason Mraz really believes he is anyone’s.
This is a good song, made great by the lyrics.