Ready To Let Go

Album: Social Cues (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single to be released from Cage The Elephant's Social Cues album. The band describes the record as being largely inspired by the unravelling of frontman Matt Shultz's marriage to French actress and model Juliette Buchs.
  • Matt Shultz wrote the song after taking a trip to Pompeii, Italy with Juliette. It was there they realized they were headed for divorce.

    Don't you worry baby, no sense trying to change it
    I'ma strike these matches, never had control
    I'm ready to let go, no, was I fooling myself
    I'm a spread these ashes, never had control
    I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready to let go


    The Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by a volcano in 79AD. Much like the fate of Pompeii, Shultz describes their once beautiful love as having turned to ashes.
  • Here are three more songs in our database that reference the ancient disaster:

    "Cities In Dust" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

    "Vesuvius" by Sufjan Stevens

    "Pompeii" by Bastille
  • Matt Shultz created different fictional people to tell different parts of his marital breakdown story throughout the Social Cues record. This song is told by a character that the singer describes as a "shy-eyed, soft-spoken murderer."

    "He's perhaps a murderer of certain things," Shultz clarified to NME. "I think I'd been watching a lot of murder documentaries and longform series. The thing you'll find is that a lot of these people are very relatable, which is scary in some regards and also humbling."
  • Matt Shultz directed the video, which features the singer in a blood-red latex bodysuit with scenes of a blood-covered couple in bed and people with nails through their hands. The frontman cited German director R.W. Fassbinder as an influence on the clip. "I've always been drawn to stuff like that," he told NME. "I think watching films by Fassbinder, where not everything is symbolic but certainly is surreal or strange, is where the direction started to form – the culmination of those filmmakers."

    Schultz added that he had been thinking about "nativity scenes and the symbolism of blood, guilt, and redemption" when to came both the clip and the writing of the song itself through a process of "improvisational thought."
  • Speaking with Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez, Matt Shultz explained he was comparing himself to the Pompeii statues, as if he were frozen in time. "I just remember at that point in life, things were pretty turbulent," he said. "My cousin had passed away, who was a best friend growing up, an actual best friend had passed away, two really close friends had committed suicide and then my relationship was on the rocks."
  • Asked by Billboard whether it was hard to write a song about the end of his marriage, Matt Schultz replied that he sees "a deep brightness within it." He explained:

    "There's a saying, 'bright sadness,' and with hope or any kind of release there's an undercurrent of grief, but that's a part of joy."

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