[SYNTHPOP] Employee of the Year- On My Own (Portland Remix)
I’m going where the light is, I assure you. Trouble is, sometimes those rays that rib the eyelids are merely the hazy beams of a seedy motel, beckoning. Antiseptic smelling sheets, walls that spill the neighbor’s sweet nothings and a floor that’d rather you slide right on out of it, than care if you stayed a bit. Sometimes life is simpler when you pay by the hour, when the flickering neon of the ‘Open’ sign doesn’t have the compunction to turn anyone away.
Metaphors, man: of temporality, of feeling like a sleight stain on the world until a maid comes and Windexs you up. There’s a lot of power in solo leveling life, but Employee of the Year’ s “On My Own” lays bare the fucking difficulty of getting bare naked, of stripping to your emotional bare essentials. Even though there’s no one to hear them, doubt, fear, listlessness–those human emotions– befall loners, too, in the forest of their minds.
“On My Own” is an airy synth track that swirls sombre sound and reverb around lyrics that want to (in their inherent darkness) hit like an air siren to the mind; but, instead, simper and fall out of clenched jaws. This is the crux of the song’s strength, belying the lyrics which belong to a world where there’s someone listening. It’s a bit of Mackintosh Braun/Junior Boysesque method of the human peeking through the machines to squash some of the squalor .
That weariness in the song’s delivery—one part being utterly lost in life, and two parts awareness that there isn’t an ear turned to your problems—allows the song to become an anthem for those moments when finding yourself under neon lights feels substantial; and stumbling to that light is useless—who, after all, is checking?
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