Pigeons

Album: Boston Accent (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Matt Nathanson sings about an enchanting woman that left quite an impression on him. He vividly remembers her in a black dress with David Bowie playing in her kitchen and pigeons on her balcony.

    But she is the "queen of chaos," with a tendency to push people away when they get too close. "I never met anybody less free," he concludes.

    Nathanson has been married for decades and made it through a rough stretch with his wife that inspired his 2007 album Some Mad Hope, with his hit "Come On Get Higher." Songs like "Pigeons" are typically based on past relationships (either his own or someone else's), but they're always real - he doesn't write in character.
  • "Pigeons" is an important song on Nathanson's 13th album, Boston Accent, which he took two years to complete as the pandemic took hold in 2020. "I had written ton of new songs but they didn't necessarily feel like they aligned with the Boston Accent record," he said in a Songfacts interview. "They felt incongruous. It felt like it was its own thing. But there was one song called 'Pigeons' that came up during it. It felt like the record had been missing this song."

    "'Pigeons' feels like we rooted the center of the record," he added. "It felt like the record was kind of like a boat on the ocean being knocked around by the waves and then we recorded 'Pigeons' and the whole record just anchored and felt like it all had a topography and a purpose. I'm a super nerd for that kind of thing. I don't think anyone else on this earth cares about the topography of a record, but to me it was super important. I was psyched to have been able to have the time, but that was one of many we wrote, and it was begging to be put on Boston Accent."
  • Nathanson wrote this song with Mark Erelli, known for playing guitar in Lori McKenna's band. All three are from the Boston area; McKenna worked on another track from the album, "Beginners."

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