Shake My Hand

Album: Shake My Hand EP (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • "Shake My Hand" is musically the product of the entire band, while the lyrics were penned by singer Sameer Gadhia. Speaking to Music Obsessed, Gadhia said that the band's songwriting process is "deeply collaborative (every member of the band participates and has an equal voice) so, as a result; there is a tendency for the music to precede the lyrics in many of our songs. That being said, sometimes the vocal melody or lyrical content can help steer the arrangement in a different direction." The song utilizes an upbeat alternative rock sound, while Gadhia's lyrics are both direct and somewhat melancholy.
  • The song is written from a narrator's perspective, describing events to an anonymous listener who is implied to be somebody from a previous relationship. For the majority of the song, the narrator makes promises about how he is fine and moving on. Twice, however - in the middle of the song and at the end - Gadhia interjects a simple "Or, stay with me, my love." Cleverly, this small addition recasts the entire song in a dramatically different light. The boasts become empty bravado, a desperate attempt on the singer's part to convince himself he's content with being alone.
  • "Shake My Hand" was released on the band's 2008 EP of the same name. Shake My Hand was the band's first official release, though they weren't yet using the Young the Giant moniker - at the time, the group was still named The Jakes. However, the band retained the same lineup for the release of their 2010 full-length debut, and their breakthrough single "Cough Syrup" first appeared on Shake My Hand. The EP served to establish the band's musical presence, and received generally favorable reviews from critics, who found the band's sound at this stage strong, though at times lacking a central identity.

    Sameer Gadhia, speaking of the song and the EP in general, has said that he thinks the band's sound was more "fractious" at this time. He explained that this is probably due to the fact that the band members were attending separate colleges at the time, so their songwriting process was more disconnected.

    There is a short video online which documents Ian Kirkpatrick producing the EP.

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