"Why does Ned suck so bad at origami?"
The title needs some context.
For those of you who weren’t at The Lexington show for our Stream launch concert, we played a little game. We sailed an origami boat that I made (minutes before the show) round our audience, filled with pens/post-its, and asked people to fill it with questions for us to answer in this blog.
There were some recurring themes – where does our name come from, what are our musical inspirations, our favourite gig memories, etc – while a fair few people either poked fun at us or said lovely things about the night… :) However; there were also several unkind people who were unimpressed with my origami boat-making skills and chose to ask about that. Justified, perhaps, but I did try my best, and while making it I was warming up my voice and styling my hair at the same time.
Nonetheless, because I’m a good sport and in no way precious about my origami abilities, I am going to engineer these barbed questions into a blog post about the meaning behind the new single, as I feel it tangentially relates to my origami predicament.
When I was at school, art & design was my least favourite subject. I was terrible. I could barely draw, with the exception of guns/weapons which for some reason I drew all the time – reflecting the part of me that wanted to be a secret agent [ironically, I now hate guns and am terrible at shooting]. I was even worse at making things; if I needed to cut out a square, the four sides would all be different lengths, etc. The moment my spirit was crushed once and for all came in my final year of school, when my art teacher (Mrs Clamp) and I were trying to work out how I should design my end of year project, a clock made out of some shelves:
Ned: Hi miss, I’m struggling for ideas of how to paint or decorate my clock. Mrs Clamp: I have an idea that might suit your abilities.
Ned: Ooo what is it? Mrs Clamp: Have you heard of an artist called Jackson Pollock…?
Here's a link in case you don't know Jackson Pollock is. So arts & crafts were never for me; I had other dream jobs in my mind. Along with the aforementioned secret agent ambitions, I badly wanted to be a professional footballer, until someone pointed out that I needed to be a lot faster, stronger and quick-footed to even stand a chance. To be fair, I really hated sports day – though later on I became a cricket enthusiast (slow right arm over) and keen squash player…
Before falling in love with my guitar aged 14, my only other dream job was to one day become an astronaut. This provides the backdrop for our new single, “Stream”, which is loosely about perspective and the unattainability of certain ambitions, set in a ‘space context’. As a teenager, I would write song after song about staring up at the night sky. Some were about love, others about escapism; occasionally there was a fairly technical one about astronomy. With “Stream”, I wanted to close the chapter of my song-writing life where I obsessed with space/stars, whilst using my childhood dream to one day travel into space as an analogy for my present day struggles to become an indie-folk musician.
I have said enough already – we generally prefer to allow listeners to form their own interpretations of our songs – and so I will leave you with the lyrics of “Stream” to mull over, while I go off and practice my origami boat-making skills…
The sky is a screen and we’re watching it stream for the night You point with your left while I’m holding my breath with my right The night is young and we’re naive, nestled on the safer side of evening Scared to commit, so we sit here still staring at the ceiling
And we rain, rain, rain… and you’ll rain for the night Will I follow you, will I ever be the one
Here on the Earth I’m the best and the worst of a cautious mind As far out of reach they're all stuck in 2D cuz we’re too far behind Hermes is the renegade, chiaroscural, in a state of mourning As a sun pushes through, and it lights up a truth that is dawning
And you’ll rain, rain, rain… and you rain for the night Will I follow you, will I ever be the one And we stream, stream, stream, and I scream at the stars Till they answer me, will I ever be the one
I've got nothing to lose I've got oceans to swim I could stream for the night As it's drawing me in