The Selfish Giant

Album: Everyday Robots (2014)
Play Video


  • Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes sings a ghostly echo of Albarn's voice on this narrative of a night spent at Dunoon in Scotland. Khan supported Albarn's band Blur in 2013 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Ireland.
  • Dunoon used to be a nuclear submarine base. Albarn recalled to The Sun: "Blur did a gig there. It was a ghostly place, shrouded in melancholy and had seen better days."
  • The ballad references Argyll Street, Dunoon's main street.
  • Albarn admits on the chorus that, "It's hard to be a lover when the TV's on and nothing is in your eyes." He told The Sun: "(The lyric) might seem like a domestic thing, but it was the idea of someone heading out of those dark locks into the Atlantic on a nuclear submarine with the glow of the monitors."
  • Albarn didn't want to keep the "hard to be a lover when the TV's on" line, but his producer Richard Russell was adamant. He told Q magazine: "I was like, 'I can't. I just can't.' But credit to Richard, because I would have lost it and it is a good line. At the time it felt harsh on everyone though. I love telly! It's just those moments when you're staring into the void thinking, 'What am I doing with my life?'"
  • Speaking about working with XL Recordings owner Richard Russell on the Everyday Robots album, Albarn told Rolling Stone: "In an ironic way, it's sort of the most collaborative record I've ever done when it comes to songwriting. Some of the songs just came from the two of us experimenting in the studio."

    Russell handled the drum programming while Albarn took on the singing, piano and guitar parts. "We did it in just three months at my studio," he said. "We'd work five days a week, 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

Michael Bolton

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

Oliver Leiber

Oliver LeiberSongwriter Interviews

Oliver Leiber talks about writing and producing hits for Paula Abdul, and explains his complicated relationship with his father, the songwriter Jerry Leiber.

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet SprocketSongwriter Interviews

The "All I Want" singer went through a long depression, playing some shows when he didn't want to be alive.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.