Agnes

Album: How to Be a Human Being (2016)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Glass Animals close How to Be a Human Being with this sad reflection on a friend of singer Dave Bayley's who committed suicide:

    Where went that cheeky friend of mine?
    Where went that billion-dollar smile?


    Dave Bayley had this to say: "There are varying degrees of autobiography and my own life in each song I write – but for the most part, that stuff is buried and clouded in fiction or blended with other people's lives that I've heard about in taxis or at parties or on the street. But there is one song that stands apart from the rest. That song is 'Agnes'. 'Agnes' is the one. It's my favorite song on the record, and the saddest song I will ever write. Probably."
  • In the music video, director Eoin Glaister pits Bayley against the weight of centrifugal force.

    "In searching for ways to explore the weight of grief I remembered my grandfather used to perform tests on a human centrifuge," Glaister explained, "Essentially it's an extremely large bit of kit that spins around very quickly. As it does so it subjects its occupants to increased levels of G-force. The faster you go, the heavier you become. On the day Dave described this feeling as like having an elephant sat on his chest. It was emotional. Appropriately so.'"
  • Glass Animals rarely perform this at live shows, and on the rare occasions they do, Bayley doesn't find it easy. "The saving grace was latching on to the optimistic side of the song, the good memories, then holding on for dear life and hoping that you get through the performance," he told The Independent.
  • Bayley wasn't going to include this on How to Be a Human Being until Glass Animals' label, Republic Records, persuaded him. "I realized they were right," he said, "because my favorite songs are usually the ones that are incredibly personal. And they make you feel less alone."

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