Orpheo Looks Back

Album: Break It Yourself (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • This violin-based track is the only song on Break It Yourself that wasn't recorded live. Bird told The Guardian: "It was constructed from two free-jazz solo loops I had worked on and recorded, and which happened to be close enough in tempo to layer. The song sounds a little north African, and that section I wrote in Venice Beach. When I hear something in my head, I hammer away at it for hours and hours until it works."
  • The song's title refers to the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, who was the most talented musician. He traveled to the underworld to rescue his lover Eurydice, who'd suffered a fatal bite on her heel from a viper. After charming the creatures of death with music, Hades agreed Eurydice could return with him to earth on one condition: he should walk in front of her and not look back until they both had reached the upper world. On reaching the upper world, he couldn't wait any longer and fatally looked back at Eurydice who was behind him, forgetting that both needed to be above ground. She disappears for the second time, saying "goodbye", this time forever.

    Bird also references Orpheus on another Break It Yourself track, "Fatal Shore."
  • Bird described to Paste Magazine the song's meaning as, "about how being 'awake' and receptive can start to drive you crazy."

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