Four Cypresses

Album: Painted Ruins (2017)

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."

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