‘Ending Friendships’ is a deeply personal, almost confessional album from Laura Secord. In this edition of Track By Track, songwriter Alison MacNeil explains the impetus behind each of these songs.
When you start a new relationship, all the problems you are going to have as a couple are already there in the beginning. This song is about how we intentionally ignore those problems in order to feel close to other people. The warm embrace of optimism. I like wrapping a difficult thing in a cosy, familiar blanket and this song is a blanket-y sort of thing.
I Thought, I Thought
No one tells you when you’re a kid that someday you might have to end a friendship. Everybody talks about making friends, but no one teaches you how to end a friendship properly and so we all end up ghosting each other in ways that are sometimes more painful than when it happens on Tinder or whatever. This is about a friendship that ended.
This is another love song. I like love songs where you can’t tell the gender of the person narrating or the person they are talking to. Everyone can sing these songs to anyone they like. This one is about a robot who falls in love and feels miserable and instead of crying, light comes out of their eyes, and people misunderstand and use the lights to search for things they’ve lost. Loose change… their self-respect, etc.
Another love song, this time with someone who is very lost and really bad for you. And how we love people who are super bad for us when we are feeling lost and super bad ourselves. Super bad.
Rock Star Suicide
This is about our tendency to conflate mental illness with artistic creativity. You know that thing where we neglect our mental health because we think it makes us better artists? So frustrating. And the curation of our culture through idolatry. I feel like I avoided being the person I am today for many years because I lost myself in the idea of an unattainable ideal.
This is a hard one. Sometimes I wish I could just be in a field at one with nature, but I think there would always be a big part of me that would feel like I couldn’t believe my own nonsense. That’s what I am singing about here. Dancing in a field, trying not to let me ruin it for myself.
All Night Long
I would sometimes like to write songs like Taylor Swift (like her Red or 1989 albums, specifically). I spent a lot of time with those albums a few years ago when my kids were the perfect age for them. Now they are stuck in my mind and we have no choice but to write stuff like this until we get it right. I am starting to really like this song, but sometimes it feels like I’ve jumped into an alternate reality when we play it.
This Place Is The Answer To A Question I’m Not Asking
This one was based on a poem that I’ve been trying to put to music since the kimono days. It’s about transition from one state to another, shifting your relationship to the people around you, switching your attention from one message that society gives you to another equally nonsensical message… and then it ends on a whole riff on the Kafka story about the cockroach, but in this ending the bug ends up hosting the Oscars right at the point when La La Land is mistakenly announced as best picture. So embarrassing. I had to check the lyrics now to make sure I wasn’t making that up.
Pornography For The Socially Aware
Love in the age of Instagram. There’s something very voyeuristic about they way we interact with each other these days. Curating our lives and publishing our “stories” and then keeping track of all these other people to the point that we ignore the people in front of us. The internet isn’t going to visit you when you get old. Sad.
We Woke Up
I like clichés in songs. I know I’m not supposed to, but I do. This one talks about how it feels when a relationship ends. (Broken record, so many failed attempts…) It feels like everything that happened in the relationship happened while you were asleep and you’ve only now woken up to reality, because, in that moment, reality is shit. But after a while, reality shifts again and the nightmare is what feels unreal. Like driving your bicycle on a dirt road with your wheels stuck in mud.
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