Great New Single: Squeeze – “Patchouli”



Here’s a beautifully-crafted song written by one of the best Pop/Rock songwriting teams of all time. It’s been posted on YouTube since October 11 and it’s barely reached 8,000 views, which only confirms to me that the universe is still a little slightly off balance. It’s a song that ought to be heard by millions, but will even 25,000 people hear it? Such is the upside-down world we live in.

I suppose Squeeze lacks a natural constituency these days. Their fans from the 1980s are mostly nostalgic old farts who only want to hear the old stuff, and it’s not as if the band’s brand has been trending anywhere in recent years. In 2015 the group’s founders Glenn Tillbrook and Chris Difford started to write songs together for the first time in almost 20 years, so we’re actually in the midst of a Squeeze renaissance and apparently there’s a lot of people who don’t know what they’re missing out on.

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Through a string of infectious hits in the Eighties, Squeeze demonstrated an uncanny knack for delivering irresistible Pop Rockery on the strength of Tillbrook’s complicated but always accessible chord structures and melodies, and Difford’s disarmingly witty yet often poignant slice-of-life lyrics. Tillbrook is also a great singer and a vastly-underrated guitarist. In my book they are Pop/Rock Masters.

Well Squeeze released The Knowledge this fall, their second new album in 19 years, and it shows that Difford and Tillbrook have still got it going on. Their reunion has brought a lot of lyrical reminiscences of youth into their music, but hell, some days after you turn 60 your youth is the only thing you can remember, or so I’m told. “Patchouli” is a perfect example of that, it is flat-out nostalgia for the past, but the music and the melody is so sprightly and so compelling that the needle barely moves on your maudlin sentimentality detector.

I mean, listen to it, Tillbrook has come up with three distinct sections – as all great songs should have – flowing together beautifully while sounding completely original. The harpsichord solo is a nice surprise, kind of like the cherry on top. Great song, great music, great lyric – there’s a lot of people who would dig this song but they will never get to hear it. One of these days the universe will surely start falling back into balance, no?

 

Patchouli

Some days I wonder what I’m doing
I sit and think too much sometimes
I waste the hours God has sent me
Drifting like this along blurred lines

It’s like normal for me to fester
And wallow in the shadow’s face
It separates us from each other
I see the smile upon your face

Chorus

I smell Patchouli touch the air above your head
I see the beauty. I’m transported back again
To that day the sky went dark
In Maryon Wilson Park.

I’m always looking out of windows
To see the sky and hear the day
I always find the lost horizon
The one we shared and gave away

Chorus

Any day then when I cast my mind back, I feel aglow
Perhaps I take the path of least resistance, well I don’t know.

Some days I wonder what you’re doing,
and where your life has taken you
We were teenagers inspired
Undying love was all we knew

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