SONG: Facing North


“Facing North” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Science News, 18 Mar 2019, “People can sense Earth’s magnetic field, brain waves suggest,” as used in the post “People can sense the Earth’s magnetic field.”

ABSTRACT: I don’t know if this song is from March or from April; I think this might be the first time I’ve double-blown a monthly deadline for an original. At least I got a decent cover out of it.

This song is sort of built out of competing choruses, or stacked refrains. I don’t know what else to call it. There are a couple of verses, but they’re really there as more of an intro before the repeated lines start repeating. And there’s a bridge, too. But I wanted a feeling of looping, of lines of force circulating overhead that we can just tap into if we enter the right headspace. It had to be sort of trancey, right?

Part of me really wanted this song to be more than five minutes long, to really get the feeling of falling into a different space. But nah. That’d be boring.

I had the chords way back in March, actually recorded before the 23rd, but things happened. Some of the vocals were recorded in a hotel room on April 23rd, but… more things happened. I think it wound up sounding better overall, though. I used the time to take some things out and put other things in. Mess around with the buzzy bass drones a bit more. Get some of the vocal sounds better. More clarity.

One of the repeated lines sort of took me by surprise – it’s a quote from “Web In Front” by Archers of Loaf. If I’d have had slightly different software or a slightly different way of dividing my time, I would have sampled it and made it fit, but it wound up in here to begin with when I just started singing it, trying to fill out a verse lyric. And there it stayed. That’s what the song is about – having a magnet in my head, a magnet in my head….


Driving through the night – the highways move us left and right
The GPS goes down – turn off the phone. Use second sight

I’m facing north
I’m tracing my alpha waves
There’s a magnet in my head – a magnet in my head (x2)

We lose our way so easily – we forget the things that saved us
The silent shadows in our thoughts – we forget the silent gifts they gave us

BR/(layered with CH)
Beneath our rims, the molten rock, it spins – like hurricanes in magma swirling
Reaching out with unseen hands – like lines from buried dragons hurling
Alpha waves
Alpha waves

CH/ (layered with outro)
We can feel the world We can feel the world
We can feel the world We can feel the world
We can feel the world We can feel the world