Watching The Lightbugs Glow

Album: American Head (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Kacey Musgraves provides spoken-word and wordless melody on this close-to-an-instrumental track. She also sings on two other American Head tracks, "God and the Policeman" and "Flowers Of Neptune 6."
  • Frontman Wayne Coyne told Uncut magazine that when some friends commented Musgraves "was a beautiful American country version of the Flaming Lips," he dismissed it. However, after the country star covered "Do You Realize??" at Bonnaroo 2019, the Flaming Lips talked to her and they found they had a lot in common.

    After Coyne and his bandmate Steven Drozd convinced Kacey to sing on "God And The Policeman," they started comparing LSD trips - both good and bad ones. Coyne asked Musgraves about her song "Mother," which she wrote after dropping some acid. She told them during her trip she saw some lightning bugs floating around in her yard.

    "Some of Kacey's good experiences on acid exactly mirror mine and Steven's," said Coyne. "She knew I was recording our conversation, and there's a kinda inaudible story from her at the end of 'Watching the Lightbugs Glow,' about her taking the lightbug off the leaf, and taking it into her house where they dance together to some bossa nova."
  • Lightning bugs (also called fireflies or glowworms) are a type of beetle that uses bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates. Several artists have recorded songs inspired by the insect of which the best known is Owl City's "Fireflies."
  • Wayne Coyne said to Apple Music of this gentle instrumental: "We like that it just floats along. You don't have to listen to it so intensely."

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