Feel Them

  • Submitted on time! Jul 19, 2020
Brain Dig

Put your feet in and let them go

They’ll want to nibble then retreat

Feast on the dead, you hope all the new will breathe in the light


If you flinch, they’ll run away

Think you’re onto them

Just stay there, don’t make any noise

They’ll come back


Then you’d sit there and let them manifest you

Bad you’d spend all of this time there


In the water

You can feel them

Feel them


I decided to write with minnows as my metaphor for this memory because while it was and continues to be quite uncomfortable and invasive, the environment around it is calm and quiet. Also, it’s debatable to who the minnows are in the story. Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s my grandmother. Maybe it’s both. It’s kind of interesting to think about.

I don’t really like talking about this memory, so I won’t go into detail, but it’s the memory of the first time that I learned that my grandmother is an alcoholic and then re-interpreting how she behaves at night. Long story short and vague, personal space gets invaded and it gets really uncomfortable. I chose to use minnows because my grandparents live on a pond in Martha’s Vineyard where the minnows get quite large sometimes and can actually hurt instead of tickle. We used to make it a thing to sit on their dock and let the little ones nibble and then get out as soon as the larger ones showed up.

I chose to make the ending very large because I wanted listeners to get so drifty that they would start questioning the words, because on the outside, without meaning, it’s just soothing minnows. Once you start to think about it, it gets weird.

And yes, if you’re thinking to yourself, “This sounds like a slightly sexual drum beat,” you’re not wrong. I did that on purpose. The more you think about it, the more uncomfortable it gets.

I’m still iffy on the title. I definitely want to make it questionable and not some relaxing loo loo type thing. This one may be a little too upfront, but I don’t know.

Instrumentation: guitar [acoustic and electric], bass, a copy machine [the hypnotic element that created the beat, sounds kind of like a ticking clock], shaker, some dinky drum midis, birds, water [all of the nature-related voice memos were taken at their house]

Looking for feedback on

General mixing and the form of the song -- I cut out a large chunk last minute, so I'm curious to see how this new form is perceived.


nurphgun July 24, 2020 9:25am

I just love this so much. It’s been stuck in my head. It puts me at ease, despite the disquieting subject matter and lyrics. Finding peace in the weirdness. It sounds stunning.

nick July 23, 2020 9:20am

oooo that extra backbeat noise that comes in at :26, combined with your lil vocal frill is very special. I’m loving all these sounds. Great environment, and cool to hear something that still sounds like you, yet very new from your past submissions. I’m all good on the mix. The super swung kick drum sticks out a bit to me. Maybe it’s just a bit heavy, but I love the sound of the big kicks on one. Great job on this one.

Ryan July 20, 2020 9:12pm

Great job making a familiar-sounding chord progression your own. The sample work immediately freshens this whole world. Great bass and vocal sounds, too. You’ve got a fantastic voice.

I think the mix is great. My only question is whether the snare is being panned stereo-wide and if so, I’m wondering if you tried narrowing that field so that it was a bit more up the middle or not. Might make for just a touch more clarity.

alechutson July 20, 2020 7:41pm

Love the water percussion and texture throughout. Very ambient, airy and light. Catches you off guard to hear “feast on the dead.” Great job with this.

PS “Sexual drumbeat” should be a genre in and of itself.

kurds July 19, 2020 9:10pm

Good god! This is so soothing. Really reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Asgeir.