the deep listen - day 5

Day 5 of The Deep Listen! Today’s songs deal with inner space: a mind haunted by the frayed bonds of past relationships, and your unaffordable one-bedroom apartment with the 12 roommates and neighbors with healthy libidos.

It’s a subtle, genuine song in which a whole lot of people will see themselves reflected.” —Rock and Blues Muse

the songs

renters for life

behind the songs

renters for life
cresting waves

renters for life

When I was young I thought there were things
I’d grow up to want
Like a house
Have a couple of kids
Raise a family
Isn’t that what you do?
Isn’t that what you want?

I didn’t question it much
I thought it’s just what you did
in your thirties

But we love the Big City
where the sidewalk’s paved with dreams
and a coffee shop on every corner
And there’s twelve to an apartment
All my roommates are in college
But the train’s just a two minute walk
We’re renters for life

There were times
filled with insecurity
when I compared myself
to my friends
They had seemed to reach a point of stability
and it seemed like Success
(at the time)

It took a while to realize
I didn’t want that
I thrive on the chaos

Cos we love the Big City
Writing songs and traveling
Sleeping is for other people
No, I’m not even judging
though my body’s collapsing
I’d prefer not to stay put for too long
We’re renters for life

Yea, we love the Big City
where the sidewalk’s paved with dreams
And a bodega on every corner
No I’m not even judging
Are the neighbors still screwing?
Guess I could turn up the TV
We’re renters for life

cresting waves

The warm hand of memory
grips me tighter
every day

Hanging on
for dear life
the more you slip,
slip away

Because it’s all cresting waves
Up and down
Up and down

Every love
a partial rhyme
You can’t will quicksand
into dry land

But you arrive
at mundane times
to remind me
of what could be

Because it’s all cresting waves
Up and down
Up and down
Yeah, it’s all fun and games
till we fall down
Up and down


bonus audio

There’s quite a bit going on with the horn parts in “Renters for Life”, so we’ve isolated them (and the classical guitar) here. This mix of “Cresting Waves” removes the drums and acoustic guitar to better hear the electric guitar parts, bass, percussion, and that sweet Moog toward the end.

production notes

To get that blown out guitar sound, Henry’s electric guitar was plugged directly into the 32-channel API 1608 console at Mad Oak (a technique used on a song called “Taxman” by an obscure 60s British rock group). The MBTA announcement meant to intro “Renters” was ultimately dropped, as we felt it was too long and most people outside of eastern Massachusetts wouldn’t get the joke.”Cresting Waves” mostly went to plan. A piano part at the end was reconsidered, and we were unable to locate a theremin in time. The Moog was an afterthought and was going to be eliminated from the final. Thankfully, we forgot to inform Guy Massey (who expertly mixed the record) of our decision, and it stayed.

Tomorrow we wrap up The Deep Listen with the final two tracks, “Oh Danny”, and “Been So Long Since We’ve Seen the Sun”.


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