See These Bones

Album: Lucky (2008)
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Songfacts®:

  • "See These Bones" was inspired by a visit Nada Surf lead singer Matthew Caws made in the mid 2000s to the Crypt of the Capuchin Monks in Rome, who created a macabre but stirring environmental sculpture from the bones of their departed brethren. Caws said:, "It's a chilling place. Seeing all those old bones up close really drives home that this is it - and you better make the most of your life. Ultimately, it's uplifting. I left there in a bizarrely good mood."
  • Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard, a longtime friend of the band, and Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger, supplied backup vocals on this track.
  • "We recorded this whole album at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle with the incredible John Goodmanson in the driver's seat," Caws explained on the band's website. "We lived in the house upstairs and Daniel made an amazing meal every night. I was once again a little bit behind in writing this one and when we were done with work for the day, I'd go back to my room where I had a suitcase literally filled with cassettes, some recent, some years old, and I'd go hunting for the one little bit that would help finish the next day's song. Stressful and happy times. John rescued us from working on too many unfinished pieces at once. He also gave us a classic bit of producerly advice when we were tearing our hair out over an ending: 'Dudes, if they're not into the song by now…' A lot friends joined us on this one, some in person, some through the mail in parts: Coralie Biolay, Ben Gibbard, Sean Nelson, John Roderick and Lianne Smith sang harmonies, Phil Petersen played cello, Phil Wandescher played guitar, Ed Harcourt played piano and both Louie Lino and Joe Mcginty added keyboard parts, as they have on every album since Let Go." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

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