Albatross

  • songfacts ®
  • The first single from British indie rock band Wild Beasts' third album Smother was originally written by the band's vocalist Hayden Thorpe. Bassist Tom Fleming explained to Drowned in Sound how the song evolved: "Initially Hayden's laptop piece, this was a really early signpost to what the album was going to be, all synthetic bass and cave reverbs. We added a crappy xylophone and every bass instrument we could find. This was always supposed to be the first single, we think it's a calling card of the album. We are of course aware of the other 'Albatross' in pop music, but this is now the real one."
  • Lyrically, the song alludes to Coleridge's classic symbol of guilt in his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With guilt comes blame and self-flagellation as Thorpe croons regretfully, "the secrets that I should have shared." Another song that references Coleridge's 1797 poem is Rush's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
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