Save The Whale

Album: Beyond the Pale (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track of Beyond the Pale, the debut studio album by British rock band Jarv Is, led by former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.
  • This title of this surreal track popped into Jarvis Cocker's head as he was leaving the cinema after watching Nick Broomfield's Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love documentary. The film recounts the relationship between Leonard Cohen and his "muse," Marianne Ihlen.
  • The opening lyrics are a positive take on the global malaise.

    Take your foot off the gas
    Because it's all downhill from here


    Cocker explained to Q magazine: "It partly comes from my grandad: when we were driving long distances, when we got to the top of the hill, he would put the car into neutral and coast downhill. Until we were on the flat again. Going downhill can be all right because you get your own momentum."
  • One of the lyrics was inspired by childhood hallucinations experienced by both Jarvis Cocker and his co-producer Jason Buckle.

    Wrinkly world
    Wrinkly world
    Smooth world
    Smooth world


    Cocker explained: "'The 'Smooth World, Wrinkly World' section came from a childhood memory of being ill: I would hear the murmuring of a large crowd accompanied by a visual image of a line-drawing (rather like a Patrick Caulfield painting, I've since realized) in which all the objects switched rapidly between being smooth and bulbous and then thin and wrinkly. It used to absolutely terrify me.

    Weirdly enough, Jason (our electronics wizard) said he had a similar childhood experience except he used to see a teapot surrounded by psychedelic outlines of itself."
  • The Beyond The Pale album title comes from one of this song's lyrics.

    You gotta move
    Come on and move
    You move beyond the pale
  • The Beyond The Pale album received widespread critical acclaim upon release. The public also liked it, buying enough copies to send the record to #11 on the UK albums chart, Cocker's best placing since his time in Pulp.

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