It’s always important to know when to call it quits and take a step back from things. While it isn’t necessarily easy, it’s always going to benefit yourself in the long run if you are upfront and honest. While you could say it’s a given, sometimes these messages are the type that people need to hear the most. Based out of London, Neev is the musical moniker of singer/songwriter Niamh Katherine Downes. By allowing her songs to be driven by her voice and acoustic guitar, they carry a sense of honesty and passion without compromise. Combining these features with some brilliant harmonies and a relatable story, Neev successfully delivers an emotional track with “Excuse Me.”
Beginning with a soundscape of guitars and echoey sound effects, the song immediately invites you to sit down and listen. After a short pause, Neev begins singing in a smooth voice, “You’ve got some nerve bringing me here / I don’t mind playing pretend, but you lied to me, dear.” Despite the laid-back vibe of her vocals, the lyrics come off as passive aggressive and are clearly directed at someone specifically. After seemingly being led to a location, whether it be physical or emotional, she continues, “Everyone thinks we’re in love while you act friendly / And I stand here, smile and wave.” Knowing things have fallen apart internally, she is continuing to put on her happy face in public so as not to raise any suspicion.
Another brief pause and we enter an argument between Neev and whomever she is singing towards. Aside from a change in melody, this chorus follows similar structure to the previous verse in regard to the instrumentation. She sings, “And I would say sorry / Were you predicting an “excuse me?” / And I won’t fight, ‘cause I won’t play.” Although she would apologize, she knows she is in the right, so she refuses to go any further with the situation. Closing out the chorus, she sings, “Don’t call me what I’m not / Don’t tell me what it ain’t / Maybe I’m a sinner, but you’re not a saint.” Accepting that she might not be perfect, she suggests that neither is the person she is singing to. Continuing into the second verse, she sings, “Can you explain or go away? / Or am I shouting in the corner where no one can hear my serious complaints?” While she is open to explanation, she knows one can’t be provided. Now resigned, she vents, “Let the wine soak up the words / We used to fuck it all, let’s destroy all the plans.” At this point in the song, she is completely accepting of giving up and moving on. She is ready to destroy the future they once had planned.
The song enters the chorus again, offering up its catchy melody and impactful lyrics. However, this time around as the chorus ends, we enter a new section of the song. Starting off bare and stripped-down, Neev repeatedly sings, “I’m not a saint, you’re not a saint / I’m not a saint / Baby, this is not okay.” As the line repeats, harmonies and other effects build up around the main vocal, creating a wonderful effect which pulls you even further into the words being sung. These background harmonies and effects carry over into the final chorus of the song, allowing the song to finally release its pent-up energy. The song closes on the words, “Maybe I’m a sinner, but you’re not a saint,” as everything slowly begins to fade out.