bingerdinkhumpydunky said: I know this might come across as a shallow question, but I've been thinking about it for a very long time, so I thought I'd ask. What is your song "Source Decay" talking about? I can feel that there's a ton of emotion there, but I can't quite trace the story it's telling. The imagery in it is beautiful (particularly the highway being a mobius strip) but I feel like I need the backstory you imaged or experienced to make the whole picture make sense. Thanks so much for your time, I'm a huge fan.
Well, there are two stories in the song: the present-day one, in which a person relates how he makes a weekly trip to Austin from somewhere two hours west, which he does specifically to retrieve mail from a P.O. box. He takes a long route there so he can drive through a place where he used to live - “our old neighborhood” - presumably the “our” is him & whoever he’s talking to, though that’s neither explicit nor certain. Then he drives home, brews some coffee, “walks the floors” (this is a reference to an old Ernest Tubb tune; Tubb was from north Texas) to sort out his thoughts, and, adding the one he just brought back from Austin, examines an ever-larger pile of postcards on the table, trying to put together the story he hopes they’re trying to tell. That this story, the backstory, the ones the postcards don’t tell, is obscure and uncertain — that’s kind of the point of the song. The backstory blurs and won’t cohere, the evidence mounts and is available but it just won’t gel into a satisfying narrative, which is a longstanding theme of mine, this way you sometimes really deeply and desperately need to get a clean narrative line through some story in your life, and when life won’t give you that, you finally have to smile about it, but it’s a pretty bitter smile, not the kind you smile when you’re feeling good about something.
The second story in the song is the one that refuses to come clear; the above is just a parsing-out of the extant detail in the song, but to fill in the outlines of the second story would be very uncool of me because the song is about how those outlines are like blurry shapes in fading light that you eventually have to just accept as they are.