Four Cypresses

Album: Painted Ruins (2017)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Daniel Rossen told Pitchfork that his lyrics for this simmering reflection on the state of a displaced world started as a narrative from the perspective of a homeless person sleeping in the driveway of a place he was staying in L.A. It then broadened to "become a meditation on internal chaos that mirrors the chaos in the outside world."
  • Rossen explained the song's haunting lyric "It's chaos, but it works" during a track by track interview with NPR:

    "That line is not a reference to the political chaos we are currently dealing with. It was meant in more human terms and referring back to the previous line in the song, 'living in a pile,' living in ruin or disarray. 'It's chaos but it works' is meant more like, 'It's a mess, but it has to be good enough.' We are adaptable. We sometimes live in abject conditions because that's all we have and we make it work. It ended up sounding a bit more flippant than I thought it would."
  • According to Rossen, Grizzly Bear percussionist Chris Bear kick-started this song "with the strange rolling drum feel and chord change at the top. Eventually I took it and wrote a melody and lyric and we built it from there."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Dave Edmunds

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

Daniel Lanois

Daniel LanoisSongwriter Interviews

Daniel Lanois on his album Heavy Sun, and the inside stories of songs he produced for U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan.

John Kay of Steppenwolf

John Kay of SteppenwolfSongwriter Interviews

Steppenwolf frontman John Kay talks about "Magic Carpet Ride," "Born To Be Wild," and what he values more than awards and accolades.