With how interconnected the world is today, it’s no wonder how social movements can be so widespread. No longer does an injustice go unnoticed due to lack of publication or suppression of information. Despite being based in Brighton, United Kingdom, Adam Macaulay (also known by his musical moniker SHYAWAY) wanted to get involved with the injustice he was witnessing in the United States. Macaulay wrote on YouTube, “The song ‘I Wanna Disappear’ is about the dystopian times we live in; when a US President can run the country like a dictatorship…” With his personal spin on it, Macaulay has brought his own view of the current world around him.
Beginning with a chorus of angelic-sounding voices, this song does not try to hide its eccentric qualities. Soon after, a lo-fi inspired beat joins the mix along with a clean electric guitar and various electronic sound effects. The song slows down, incorporating new effects such as electronic bells into the mix as Macaulay enters the song with a relaxed voice, singing, “It’s my design, It’s my desire / Please understand, I’m just so tired.” Taking into account what Macaulay wrote about the inspiration for this song, the lyrics come across as a very straight-forward message. Feeling tired of the current political situation, he describes his desire, “I want to hide and wear a disguise / Forge a new identity, run away from here.” It seems that what he is facing is so overwhelming that he is no longer able to fight it, and instead wishes to melt away into a new body, perhaps someone more carefree who can find happiness in the midst of everything.
The song excitedly jumps into the chorus with a burst of sound, mixing piano with the chorus from earlier, as well as other instruments. Continuing the sentiment of the first verse, Macaulay sings, “I wanna disappear / Out of the stratosphere / Like I was never here.” Again, he is indulging in his thoughts of getting away from it all, using the setting of space to demonstrate just how far he wishes he could go. Furthering this analogy, he then sings, “I wanna disappear / Into the blackest hole / And leave no trace behind.” After a brief instrumental transition, we enter another verse.
The music calms down once again, following the example set by the first verse. Macaulay sings, “Fall off the map / Go off the grid / Change up my name / Sell off my things.” While the first two lines could be applied to leaving the stratosphere, it’s most likely referring to his continuing desire to literally cut off all connection with the modern world. Then, he refers to those suffering under the current administration, “Drown out the noise / Drown out the screams.” While he clearly cares about those who need help, it’s possible that his caring is what is driving him insane in the first place. At this point in the song, his desperation becoming clearer, he sings, “Hide away or immigrate, I don’t mind which / Or nail me in a wood crate and throw me off a bridge.” Entertaining thoughts of death, it becomes clear how serious the situation surrounding him is.
After another chorus, the song heads into a short guitar solo which builds with the energy of the song. However, instead of the expected explosion of sound, the song goes silent, allowing space for a chorus of harmonies underneath Macaulay singing, “I wanna disappear / Out of the stratosphere.” Suddenly, the song turns into a space-age song by The Beach Boys, as various vocal sounds come and go, forming a beautiful soundscape. The final words of the song are sung, “I wanna disappear, like I was never here,” and then we are led into one more instrumental section. This time, a saxophone has its twenty seconds of fame before the song fades to black.
A creative song discussing a widespread issue, “I Wanna Disappear” by SHYAWAY covers all the bases for something exceptional. By offering his personal view of the world and how it makes him feel, Adam Macaulay avoids offering nothing but a repeat of what is on the news. While the lyrics are straightforward, they are effective in portraying the sense of desperation which I believe Macaulay was aiming for. All of this on top of the creative instrumentation and harmonies adds up to a song which I will definitely be playing on repeat.