Pregnant Pause

Album: Present Tense (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • Vocalist Hayden Thorpe explained the song's meaning to DIY magazine: "It's largely about turmoil - and this sounds awful - and the disturbance of being away for years, which is where we were at by the end of Smother's touring," he said. "I remember the last show in Istanbul, we didn't have another booked for a good six months. There was a sense of finality to that night and I just got incredibly drunk on the local brew in Istanbul before vomiting all the way back to England. I was incredibly lost at one stage in the night, pissing in the street, staggering."

    "The song was borne out of getting home and finding clarity knowing all the things that matter are still in place," Thorpe continued. "All the swings of your ego - from disillusionment to complete triumph, often in the space of a day - don't affect the people around you. Frankly they couldn't give a s--t. 'Pregnant Pause' is about the brief stillness of waiting, then."
  • Thorpe admitted to DIY magazine being self-conscious about this song. He explained: "I find it quite an emotional thing. I was always aware it might come off a bit soppy. But I was like, you know what, it's sincere so I can live with that."
  • Bassist and co-vocalist Tom Fleming commented to NME: "It starts like a piano ballad and then there's suddenly this huge base. If you've grown up with Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake, it takes a bit of balls to do that."
  • The song purposely follows "Daughters" on Present Tense's tracklisting. Thorpe explained: "It's deliberately supposed to be the morning after the traumatic night from 'Daughters'. They're deliberately weighed against each other, because the clarity of 'Pregnant Pause' is such a relief after the swamp of the song before."
  • A pregnant pause is a silence that is laden with meaning or significance. It is a technique of stand up comedy, where the comic pauses at the end of a phrase to build up suspense. Jack Benny, Bob Newhart and Frankie Howard were all renowned for allowing the pause itself to become a source of humor beyond the original joke.

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