Stop For a Minute

Album: Night Train (2010)
Charted: 40
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single from Keane's 2010 EP, Night Train. The song is a collaboration with Somali-Canadian rapper, K'naan.
  • Keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley told AntiMusic about the song: "It's quite dark. I think the message of the song is about not trying to get too bogged down in over-thinking stuff all the time. If you sit down for too long, you can easily make yourself depressed! I guess it's about trying to rise above that."
  • Night Train was recorded in various studios throughout the globe on Keane's world tour for 2008's Perfect Symmetry. The title alludes to the band's traveling on trains between gigs, their favorite method of travel. "The idea was to chuck out a single, or at most an EP in October," Keane vocalist Tom Chaplin told Billboard magazine. "But it turned into something more. I think we see it as a body of work that we made during touring. Just a document of different places and moods."
  • The song is one of two tracks on Night Train on which K'naan makes a contribution. Chaplin told The London Times: "We had two songs we couldn't finish. It turned out K'naan had been a fan for years. He came to the studio, listened to the gaps in both songs and, a few hours later, presented us with fully formed ideas. We didn't give ourselves time to navel-gaze."
  • Chaplin told Spinner UK that this song took longer than expected to be recorded. "One of the songs, Stop For A Minute was on a loop for ages and ages while K'Naan worked out the lyrics in his head," he said, laughing. "It was on for hours, driving us mad, but then he just walked up to the microphone and laid down his track."
    Drummer Richard Hughes added dryly: "I must admit I'd retreated to the living room by that point. His and Tom's vocals really compliment each other, and it really works them singing alternate verse and bridge. K'Naan brought some lyrics to us too, the second verse is his that he wrote in the studio. That's what a proper collaboration is about."
  • The song contains the couplet: "Sometimes I feel like a little lost child/ Sometimes I feel like the chosen one". Rice-Oxley told The Independent May 7, 2010 both lines are from the heart. "I'm reading [British comic actor who had a life-long struggle with depression] Kenneth Williams's diaries at the moment," he explained. "I'm really interested in someone like that, with all the mess and depression. I really associate with people who are honest about their fear of failure. If I feel that I've written a really great song, that's pretty much what I live for. My identity's dependent on it. But there are days I'll spiral into thinking: 'I can't write any more. I literally can't finish even a crap song.' I live in fear of the day when everyone turns round and says: 'Actually, you're right!' That really haunts me. That whatever I had is gone. I spend the whole time dreading that feeling that I'm not good enough. And it's that same fear that leads to thinking: 'If in doubt, stick to the well-trodden path and let's do another "Is It Any Wonder".' But then Tom gives me a kick up the arse."

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