SONG: “Starter Home”


“Starter Home.” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Home Tweet Home: High-Tech Solutions for House and Apartment,” New York Times, 7 March 2014, as used in the post “This home really speaks to me. Over the internet…”

ABSTRACT: I recorded most of the music – the backing tracks, everything but the guitar and voice – while on the road visiting friends last week. Turned out pretty well, I think. The guitar has a D-string tuned down an octave, which makes finger-picking (if you can call what I do that) sound really fun.

The song… well, I was pretty sure I’d go for the house story as soon as I heard it. The hook for *me* was to do something along the lines of “Lisa” by The Prayers And Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, a poignant little song that, after a few listens, becomes clear that it’s narrated by a doll left behind after its owner moved away. The little kid is grown up and married now. That’s what happens with things that we’ve personified – we move away and leave them behind, because we feel like we can.

So how much would a house miss its owner? Would a smart house understand a real estate listing? It would probably be able to access, but might not be able to make sense of the information in it, since it isn’t relevant to its owner’s comfort. No lights being turned on, or coffee machines instructed to start brewing at a specific hour, or cameras to access. Just some words… and then, ultimately, a disruption in the cycles of life. Doors unlocking at irregular hours. Different messages coming in. New memories being formed. What happened?


Do you still take your coffee black
at 6:25 a.m.
before the lights come on?
Before the lights come on?

You always wanted two small eggs
scrambled with butter and chives
every Sunday morning.
Every Sunday morning.

Twice a week you’d leave your keys
in your hurry out the door.
I could count the steps you’d take
to turn around again.
Turn around again.
Turn around again.


I heard that you moved in with someone
I hope he treats you well.
But sometimes find reminders
of how we used to be.
Remember me.
Remember me.

Strangers walking on my floors
Some lady’s baking bread
Did you give away my keys?
Give away my keys?
Give away my keys?

Lately I’ve been sleeping more
Try to figure out this phrase
They’ve put into my listing.
A starter home.

A starter home.
Where did you go?
A starter home.
Please explain.
A starter home.
Please define.
A starter home.