This Year's Love

Album: White Ladder (1998)
Charted: 20

Songfacts®:

  • David Gray wrote this for the British film This Year's Love, a romantic comedy set in the Camden Town area of London. The director, David Kane, was a big David Gray fan and asked him to compose the song. Gray had never written on commission before, but he welcomed the challenge. (Also, he needed the money: he had been dropped by his label and was paying out of pocket to make his White Ladder album.)

    Gray had to use the title, but other than that, the song doesn't reflect the film. The lyric finds him with his back to the wall in a romantic sense, knowing that this year's love might be his last chance. He was writing in character - Gray had been married since 1993.
  • Gray wrote this song quickly in a fit of inspiration. He told Songfacts: "I took the words 'this year's love' and started to play with them as a sort of melody, and then within an hour or so I'd written this song right then quickly, and made a quick recording of it - quite a primitive recording - and I sent off to the director, my manager and various interested people just to see what they thought. And to my enormous surprise, they came back saying they really liked it. I had no idea that it had any kind of power really - I was just following my instincts."
  • Gray appears in the This Year's Love movie as a bar singer. His songs "Sail Away," "Monday Morning," "Crazy" and "Shine" also appear in the film.
  • This song showed Gray that a commissioned work could be just as energized as a personal one, which taught him a lesson on inspiration. In his Songfacts interview, he explained: "It revealed that the idea of artistic purity and integrity is a purely notional decision. It's something that you prescribe to music for your own reasons because you want to believe these things are important, but in fact, something of high value can arrive through commission. Half of the Renaissance art was commissioned by rather unscrupulous people or the church, take your pick. So, it's what happens during the creative moment and the honesty and the skill involved in negotiating the truth that you're trying to deliver. That's what is important.

    So, 'This Year's Love' was very revealing because it blew away a whole load of preconceived ideas that I accepted as having some truth to them. It blew those out of the water."
  • The White Ladder album was recorded in David Gray's home studio in England, but "This Year's Love" needed a real piano, so he did some bootstrapping, getting some cheap time on a Tuesday morning at a studio in Hampstead, where he played the piano part. He couldn't afford an orchestra: the strings came from a Roland Groovebox.
  • The video was directed by David Slade, whose credits include "Strange Little Girl" by Tori Amos and "Girl's Not Grey" by AFI. It shows Grey and some other characters with personal rainclouds. They find solace at the end of the video when they come together in a desert setting.
  • This song soundtracks a key scene in the 2004 film The Girl Next Door. After a geeky kid named Max brings a hot new girl to a party, bullies intervene. Max decides to make his move and pushes the bully away from the girl to snatch a kiss. This song plays as they make out. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - Toronto, Canada
  • A number of movies and TV series have used this song in powerful scenes, notably the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, where it appeared in the 2019 episode "Man On The Moon." It also played on a few episodes of the reality series The Bachelor in 2012, and in the films Wimbledon (2004) and Crazy/Beautiful (2001).
  • "Babylon" is David Gray's most popular song, but "This Year's Love" has the highest streaming numbers thanks to Spotify, where it has shown up on a number of playlists.
  • White Ladder was first released in Ireland, where Gray distributed copies independently in 1998. In 1999, "This Year's Love" was issued as a single there, but it didn't get released in the UK until 2001, after he secured a record deal. In Britain, it was the third of five charting singles from the album, following "Please Forgive Me" and "Babylon," and preceding "Sail Away" and "Say Hello Wave Goodbye." In America, it wasn't released as a single.
  • Ed Sheeran is one of many artists to employ the stripped-down home recording method Gray innovated on White Ladder. Speaking on Gray's YouTube channel, Sheeran said: "'This Year's Love' is one of the best songs I've ever heard. It revolves around just a few chords, but it's so heart-wrenchingly brilliant."

Comments: 13

  • Jake from Australia Melbourne anybody else here from 2017?
    I love this song and feel like I can strongly relate to it. last year I was in a terrible break up. I found out I got cheated on and I did everything for this girl. But just about a month ago I got in contact with a girl I had a crush on 6 years ago when we were fairly young (12-13) and we both knew we liked each other. And now we have caught up a couple of times and our feelings have been shared and when I talk to her and see her I honestly feel like the happiest person in the world, I just want to make her mine as soon as I can
  • Katie from Telford, United KingdomThis song just came on the radio as i was crying about somone i like who doesn't like me back, really made me think.
  • Melinda from San Jose, CaI played this song during my Unity Candle lighting at my wedding.
    I fell in love with it while watching the "The Girl Next Door". Loved the piano part.
  • Kevin from Birmingham - England, United KingdomPerfect,beautiful,inspiring,emotional,delicate,uplifting and a love song that touches your very soul.
  • Laura from Perth, West Australiai love david gray, and i especially love this song. my ex used to sing this to me at kareoke, along with a few other david gray songs such as babylon, please forgive me and sail away. although i am now happily in a relationship and have a 4 month old baby girl, i cant help but think about him when i hear this song. he totally broke my heart and i thought i would never get over it, but knowing that i am now happier than ever, and that he is in the same place he was before i met him, kinda brings me comfort i still love david gray and love this song heaps!! the words are beautiful, and his voice is goegous!
  • Ella from Melbourne, AustraliaIt's about being hurt in the past, and being alone, but hoping that 'this year's love' will last. He really likes this girl, she sweeps him off his feet, but he's gotta know that 'sweet lies' won't hurt him again. By the end of the song, he's come to an understanding that 'whose to worry' if our hearts get torn. Life goes on, and he's gonna try again.

    This is one of the most beautifuls songs ever written. Seeing him perform it live nearly tore my heart out of my chest.
  • Sarah from Philadelphia, Pai heard this song at a wedding and then it started turning up everywhere i went. it is the most amazing song ive ever heard.
  • Melanie from Stafford, VaTo me this is definately the one song that I will never get tired of hearing. Thanks to everyone here and their comments my fiance and I have decided to make this our song to dance to for our first dance as husband and wife.
  • Amanda from New York City, Nythe person who wrote this song is hopelessly in love with someone and even though he knows that he will be left alone on a "midnight street" and that he will wind up hurt, he loves this girl so much that he does it to himself everytime. he is trying to be strong and say that "it takes something more this time" indicating that this has happened several times. what makes this song utterly heart breaking is not the slow piano playing or the pain that is blantantly in david gray's voice, its the fact that we can all relate to it in the sense that there will always be one person in your life that no matter what they do to you, you will always have difficulty not giving it another try.
  • Laura from Newcastle, Australiahey amanda:-)i think this song is trying to say that the love this guy/girl has found had better last unlike his other relationships that have failed, his other loves that he has lost. he says that 'heaven knows it's high time
    I've been waiting on my own too long' meaning like it says he waited for somebody to be with, somebody to love & love him back. he also says 'And when you hold me like you do
    It feels so right
    I start to forget how my heart gets torn
    When that hurt gets thrown
    Feeling like I can't go on' meaning that when she holds him in her arms he feels so content, so complete that he forgets about all the hurt & pain that he feels & is 'thrown' about when they fight. anyway that is what i think when i hear this song- hope it was some help.
  • Laura from Newcastle, Australiait is also in 'Crazy/Beautiful' starring Kirsten Dunst
  • Amanda from Palm Bay, Flcan some please tell me what they think it is trying to say? thanks!
  • Michelle from Montreal, United Statesi absolutly adore this song. in an online test it told me that this was my "love song" and it makes me swoon
see more comments

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