Words Falling Slow – Ikea Parking Lot
Words Falling Slow is a twice weekly blog series written by Michael Timmins in which he writes about the writing, recording, history and inspiration behind some of the songs included in the Notes Falling Slow box set. You can pre-order Notes Falling Slow here. You can listen to a new recording from the box set here.
I don’t know if you have ever been to an IKEA, but chances are that you have. It’s an intimidating place filled with couples fighting and kids having melt downs. Customers are ferried along a retail River Styx with infinite temptations along each river bank as they makes their way from the entrance, through the store, to the check out counter. I don’t care what you’ve come for, you always end up with more in your cart than you had planned and 80% of the stuff you purchase, you will never use or won’t fit the particular application that you bought it for. We have an IKEA closet in our house where all of the Kvors and Sweegars and Ardvars are stored, never to be used or thought of again. The company also has a neat trick of leaving some essential assemblage piece out of the box, so you are forced to return to the store and start the whole journey again. The parking lot, which is, by course, huge, is where one steels oneself for the experience. Sometimes the couple never makes it in to the store.
I think this is the saddest song that I have ever written. There are few things as devastating as the blunt force impact of having the words “I don’t think I love you anymore” thrust at you. But I love the imagery in this song: the idea of words being spoken in a cold car, the breath that is expelling those words visible as water vapour, floating in the cold air and eventually making its’ way to the window where it crystallizes….hurtful words being transformed in to beautiful ice patterns. I think I stole the essential idea of that image from somewhere/someone but I can’t remember who….but that is what artists do, we borrow and transform and pass it along.
This song was originally written for One Soul Now but we never found the right intensity for it so we left it off the album, even though we had been performing it live leading up to the albums release. A few more years under our belts and the song now sits in our wheel-house. We kept the structure from our original attempt, but added a more minimalistic approach to the bass and drums. Al added some of his Mofo keyboard sounds to keep the whole affair on the surreal side.
Not everything about Ikea is depressing….here’s a lighter look at its culture: