Last Words

Album: Ode To J. Smith (2008)
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Songfacts®:

  • In a blog written by Fran Healy, the Travis frontman revealed how this song was recorded from the time the band's bassist Dougie Payne brought this song in during the writing sessions. Healy wrote: "This was one of the first songs we tackled. Really fantastic chord progression in the verse though it lacked a bridge which we wrote on the spot and the chorus which had 'Last wooords'' at its core sort of expanded when we started playing it. The opening lines are some of the best lyrics Dougie has ever come up with. "Try to shine a light into the dark, Corners of your mind and of your heart..." Then he said that he was unsure of the next line but it was the best bit "Find out what you're carrying around...Things you can't remember having found." Beautiful.

    In the development of the song, as we ran through it in the rehearsal room, I changed the line "corners of your mind and of your heart" to "corners of the mind and of the heart"... I think there seemed like to many "oo" sounds, or maybe the use of "the" widened the idea to take in everyone or something or maybe "the" was a shorter 1 syllable word than the longer "your." Who knows but Dougie is gracious with this, and lets me fiddle with the lyrics.

    Anyways, this sounds like it could be a single... When D played it to me, I picked up the banjo as it was the nearest guitar to hand and played along - it gave the songs a looseness and when (guitarist) Andy (Dunlop) came in, he played this crazy riff over the top that sounded like a roosters wake up call. This led to another astounding guitar solo later on. (Drummer) Neilly (Primrose) did this cool little fill at the top, which really grabs the attention, and the groove is just super laid back and the bassline would make James Jamerson weep.

    We nailed it in the studio too. Sally Herbert, who did the strings to Slideshow (from 1999 album The Man Who) and Battleships (from 2007 album The Boy With No Name), came in with her husband Ian and did a brilliant string arrangement. And (producer) Emery's mix really sealed the deal."

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