[DARK INDIETRONICA] School of Seven Bells-  I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)

[DARK INDIETRONICA] School of Seven Bells- I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)

[DARK INDIETRONICA] School of Seven Bells- I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)



A Facetime session transmitting your last euphonic transmission, and you’re orchestrating behind the scenes the scattered bones of a project into a full fledged being. You’re hoping you can twist the kneecaps into place so it can find its way to others, relocate the shoulder just right so it can reach out to the world for intimacy–unhindered–and screw the skull plate on so that they’re not beholden to the passing psychic attacks of the world.  Time is short. You’re doing this in between IV changes, temperature checks and the consternation of nurses who just want to you fucking rest already. But the hospital bed contains the entirety of your world at the moment, and goddammit you’re going to leave something of beauty outside that fucking bed if it kills you.   And it might, because cancer’s a grisly bedmate; and even as you hold to that half-believed anthemic hope deeply instilled within you, you hit the morphine pump to squash it and the growing realization that it might be all over soon.

I don’t know the exact process behind Benjamin Curtis’ of School of Seven Bell’s creation of this, his last song, outside the press releases (he produced the track from the hospital, even telling the band what buttons to push in studio). And I’d never speak for another’s emotions, especially someone passed, but I can extrapolate from my own experience. Because I’ve been there, where he is, and damn near the same tragic result, wondering if it was true that ‘I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)’.

I was helping to write/soundtrack a documentary on hospice patients and the emotions in their eyes/mindset shift  in their last few days,at the same time that I was going through treatment for Lymphoma, much like Curtis’.  Near the end of filming I took a turn for the potentially fatal worst. I had already planned for the project to include a Rilo Kiley track in the last few moments…I never thought I’d be the one singing the song. So there I am, tracing veins in my arm with my hand as antibiotics are pumped into them and staring out the window at the Seattle sunrise, lip syncing the words to ‘With Arms Outstretched’ just moments after I signed my DNR (Do Not Resuscitate papers) absent anyone but my creative partner.

And he tells me to look into the camera instead of away and the moment I do I remember as the most devastating moment of life. Internally, I completely fell apart, researcher becoming subject style. I felt a kinship with all the other patients on the ward and it scared the shit out of me. But as the song played in my headphones and the words shaped around my lips, I felt a determination to do nothing more but get them out. I had to, I just had to. I may have lost almost everyone I loved by being sick for two years, so I had to leave a bit of beauty, that everyone who only thought of me as a corpse from that point could see.  I was a person that really cared, really cared about you and the world around you.

So, well, yeah. I get a bit of what Curtis was going through when he made this, his swan song. His energy beats through it, forever condensed within its chords, through the last moments of what he loved doing most. All done to show the world he was a beautiful soul that tremored with strength and a need to lace the world with art that impacted. And ‘ I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)’, does: it’s fucking devastatingly wonderful. When I listen to it, I feel all the feelings.


Add to the story...

Kavi Senior Editor. Currently based in Bangkok. I review dark indietronica/pop with my signature style of delving into the sexuality, sensuality and emotionality of every song. If you'd like me to premiere your track, contact me at the email below or at soundcloud.com/discordbeing