gowest

Release Date: 8/09

Album: GO WEST

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Video:

 

Lyrics:

Your dad said he'd always hoped you'd turn out for the good...knock on wood
And the years came and went spent longing for the day he'd say, "you turned out OK,
my beautiful darling girl."

So you walked miles and miles down dark and empty streets -
hungry, longing, desperate, incomplete
The weight of disapproval gnawing in your gut
Nowhere to go but onward to who knows what

But you can't escape the world that you were born in
There's a corner of your mind always be your prison
You've got to push that to one side
And let a good thing manifest
Honey….Go West.

Armies of lovers who provided you
no resting place in your longing to erase
You drew parades and accolades
But no solace did you find
From the flowers of desolation in your mind

And you'll drive miles and miles towards the setting sun
You'll pass through many deserts before your day is done
Let the compass that you follow swallow down for you the world
You left behind as daddy's disappointing little girl

Musicians:

Adam - lead vocal, piano
Evie Sands, Teresa Cowles, Adam - backing vocals

Adam sez:

In an album full of songs that pretty much came out exactly as I'd hoped, "Go West" shines as one of the most perfectly-executed songs I have ever done, due in no small part to Evie's and Teresa's gorgeous harmony vocals, Eric Summer's sympathic viola performance, and Alan Boyd convincing me to do my own remix of the song, the success of which led to me personally remixing quite a lot of disc one of GO WEST. It's also one of the best piano tracks I have ever done and the first really great vocal I recorded for the album ("Go West", "Fade Away" and "1 in 4" were the only songs that were nearly finished before the album recording got rolling in earnest in October 2008). Quite simply, this is one of the finest tracks I have ever been involved with and it may be the single best track on the album, and a welcome relief from the sonic assault of "1 in 4" and the density of some of the earlier tracks.

This tale of a girl with daddy issues was inspired by a friend of Teresa's. I woke up in the middle of the night one night and, for no real perceptible reason (since I didn't know her very well), got up and wrote the lyrics to this song. Over the course of ten days or so, I worked on the music, but it only went from a good song to a great one when I tossed large sections of it out....the cool little change at the very end of the song is all that's left of an entire bridge that was discarded. Sometimes good songwriting is just good editing, and as soon as I reduced "Go West" from a long meandering ballad to its critical core, the song soared. As the title song for the album, it talks about both the need to cast off how others have defined you and reach outward, and to accept that you will never completely succeed. It's a pretty good summation of the themes of the record.

This song also inadvertently kicked off my production and studio career. I wasn't happy with a lot of the original mixes for GO WEST - I thought they sounded too brittle and harsh. Alan Boyd forcefully convinced me I should try to remix some of the songs, this one in particular. I didn't have a lot of confidence in my abilities as a mixer, but I gave it a try and was pleased with the results. Gradually improving with each attempt, I wound up remixing about half of the album myself, and my new vocation as a producer/engineer was off and running.

We made a video for this song a few years later. Teresa and I used to go on road trips to the desert and to the Sierras all the time, and we caught some gorgeous natural footage for use in the video, which is one of my favorites we've made.

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