SONG: Picture on Your Phone


“Picture on Your Phone” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Science Direct, Vol. 27, Dec. 2018, “’Selfie’ harm: Effects on mood and body image in young women”, as used in the post Posting selfies damages your self-image.

So first I blew the last song’s deadline, then I wrote a thing that didn’t work, and then I spent a week laid up with a chest cold. Also, somewhere in there I developed a thing for The Beths, which made it very hard to write anything, because they are so good and right that why bother, yeah? Well. That silent beat at the beginning of the chorus in this song is totally stolen from them, only they did it better with “Whatever.” Whatever.

This is a song about selfies and how bad you feel after posting them online AS MEASURED BY SCIENCE. So. It’s a subject that seems to lend itself to introspective power pop.

This is a mode I love. My voice is not really suited for it – I think I can do hushed four-track wistful pretty well, but, you know, sometimes something like this just has to come out into the world. It’s like my selfie. Posted here.

I used a lot of lo-fi tricks in recording this. Maybe the oddest thing is I refused to use the grid in the computer recorder. Everything was based on a scratch track that was recorded without a click – in other words, I just hummed the whole thing, me and a guitar, and then played stuff along with it… which can be tricky if what you’re playing is a digital instrument that’s usually built around looping the same figure over and over, like, say, the drums. Without a click track, musicians (ahem – all of them) tend to speed up and slow down as the music gets exciting or mellow. So this sounds a little more organic and loose (and sloppy?) than most of these songs.

The melody’s pretty darn catchy, though.

I’m still a song and a cover behind. We’ll see what the next couple of weeks brings.


I put my picture on your phone
then my head under a blanket
And I must thank you for your likes
and shares sincerely

I’m falling faster every time
like love, like poker or like wine
Except this leaves me feeling shy
Oh iPhone, why?

Each time I hang there on your wall
I feel so anxious and so small
I feel like tearing off my face
Each time I put me in your place

Now I’ve fallen down a well
All the walls are damp and slippery
But the distant sun has lit me
So let me strike another pose.

And now I’m coming back for more
Accruing karma, my high scores
Hang in the balance, won’t you all
Click like you like me
subscribe please

I put my picture on your phone
Then I’m drowning in regret at first
Don’t know what else to expect at first
Hashtag neuroses.

I feel like tearing off my face
Each time I put me in your place
And I keep logging on to see
Click like you like me
subscribe please