Life, in many ways, is a set of routines. Some are small, such as putting the cutlery away in the correct order. Some are a little bigger, such as putting the recycling out on the allotted night.
Other routines impact us in ways we don’t always recognize.
“Now That You’re Older”, the debut single from Old Friends, New Friends (Aaron Purdy) is a song that explores these rhythms of life, and how their change creates a sense of loss.
Like a feeling that you had when you were younger
And you can’t get it back
As we age, the freedom we enjoy in our youth dissipates. You may look back and try new things, but as the cutlery, the trash, and tax returns replace the schoolyard games, you’ve lost the routine freedom you once enjoyed.
Sorry to put a depressing spin on things. This is a song that looks to deal with a feeling that’s hard to put a pin in. It does it very well, and it does it straight from the off.
Lost it again
Starting with the word “again” is a bit like Tarantino starting Pulp Fiction in the middle. You’re jumping right in. No build-up to it, no context, just a sense of loss and the realization that it’s happened before. The rest of the song then explores what “it” is.
The structure in which it does that also goes against the norm. There’s a linear way of doing things with a pulse that brings a feeling of movement. The ambience develops extra colors and as the song moves to the end, you feel it could all go full circle.
Which is exactly what the lyrics imply.
Or the key that you lost in the back of that drawer
That belongs to a house where you don’t live anymore
But one day you’re going to find it and you’ll wonder what it’s for
The humdrum routines of life cause loss and repeat, over and over.
It’s wonderful lyric writing in a song packed full of clever turns of phrase.
But there’s one line that made me think more than any other.
And a child trying to listen.
Why can’t they just listen? Maybe there’s too much noise around them? Is a child even capable of listening?
As a father with a six-year-old, I can confirm that the answer is no.
Whatever the reason, it’s the word “try” that changes things, and at all ages, that seems to be what we’re doing. Trying to reclaim something we lost, and come to grips with the new routines that circle back on themselves.
This is a song that tries a lot and succeeds a lot. Yoda should be happy.
It doesn’t have a big melodic hook, it doesn’t have a grand climax or some huge snare to make your head bop. It has honest lyrics, a delicate bass note progression and a sprinkling of ethereal layering.
And it all works rather well.
Give “Now That You’re Older” a listen at the link above, and follow Old Friends, New Friends around the internet here.