Americana rockers Royal Horses recently released their debut album "A Modern Man's Way To Improve" and to celebrate we have asked Shelby Kemp to tell us about the track "Bottom Of The Chart". Here is the story:
"Bottom Of The Chart" started coming together in the living room of a house I once shared with three other guys. The walls of the room were decorated with art taken from someones parents garage. One piece in particular always caught my eye, and I would often find myself just staring at it for long stretches of time. It was a rectangular clock, or there was a clock in one corner of it and the rest of it was covered in stitched pictures of astrological signs, trees and planets. It was a really beautiful piece of functional artwork.
Now, maybe you don't put any stock in the signs, but for the sake of the story it is relevant to know that I am an Aquarius, and that sign was shown at the bottom of the clock, at the end of some kind of paper scroll. I got the entire first verse out of looking at and describing that clock. I remembered reading about how the Beatles would write songs by glancing over newspapers, or just reading street signs, and I decided to use the rest of the artwork in the room to come up with more verses.
The second verse was inspired by a painting of a girl with a guitar and a tapestry of "The Great Wave". The third and fourth verses came together a few weeks later. I had taken my hammock down to the river park here in Hattiesburg, MS and was just dangling out over a ledge watching the water of the Leaf river rush by beneath me. I was thinking a lot about life and death and what the spaces outside our current perception might hold. I know that is vague, but things like that tend to be.
I've always tended to be skeptical of anything that claims to know truths like that, and I guess in some way there is some element of ridicule of people like that in the third and fourth verses. The chorus, "You can run but you can't hide" is probably a reference to the inevitability of death.
A little disclaimer, I find it difficult to really explain lyrics. They all add up to a cohesive story and idea in my head, but I can't expect them to do the same for anyone else. A good friend of mine has always asked about the meaning of this song in particular, and I have never felt comfortable giving him any answer. I always say "If I told you my meaning, it might lose what it means to you." So, with that in mind, go listen to this song and totally disregard everything I've just said. Let it mean what you want it to
mean, and enjoy the music.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here