Psyche

Album: Heligoland (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This track features former Tricky collaborator and muse Martina Topley-Bird, who also provides the vocals for another Heligoland track, "Babel."
  • Massive Attack founding member Robert "3D" Del Naja told the story of this song to The Independent February 12, 2010: "'Psyche' came from the time when me and Neil [Davidge, Massive Attack's producer since Mezzanine] were working in the studio and messing around with things. I was scratching CDs up - classical CDs - to get them to do this jumping thing. I was familiar with Steve Reich's work, and I knew how complex it was, and I thought: 'Do you know what, I'm going to fast-track this. I'm going to get a classical album and then I'm going to make it jump and then I'm going to sample each jump.' Then we just recorded guitar notes and layered them and played it to Martina. She fell in love with it and came back with these very bizarre lyrics. To me, the song is like when you close your eyes and you've got that strange shimmer of water or sunlight going through trees and it creates a strobing effect over your eyelids. You instantly get taken back to every single summer you've ever experienced, all in one collage.
    And you have that really weird sense of immortality, and then a deep melancholic sadness about things that are lost and things that haven't happened yet. And that really weird bit in between where you don't know how you're every going to capture that or keep it. But you know you can't. And it's that weird moment where you actually recognize - I know this sounds really profound - you recognize that everything will end, and for a brief moment you're happy with it. You can deal with the fact this ain't going to last forever, you know. Other times the idea can fill you full of dread, but sometimes, in those moments, you're completely content with that being the case. And this song kinda gives me that sense."

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