Jestem Krzywym Lasem Track by Track: Such Great Heights

I spoke a little bit about my decision to include this song on the EP in an earlier blog post about my friend Sean Gallagher, and I’m going to do my best not to repeat myself here so if you want the full scope, as it were, you’ll want to check out that blog post first.

About the Track

I of course can’t speak to why this song was originally written, since it’s a Postal Service song and not a Jaimee Jakobczak song, but I can speak to why it found its place on my EP.

Through the first 4 songs on the record I’m talking a lot about conflict, desperation, despair and grief, but as I mentioned before the record is a concept, and it’s not one that has an ending.

The thought process about including “Such Great Heights” on here has a lot to do with providing some sense of uplift, relief, and hope, because despite all the terrible things, thoughts and feelings expressed otherwise throughout, it’s important to remember that there is a silver lining in everything we all go through, and ultimately it’s how we choose to frame the experience that shapes the way we move forward with it.

What I mean by that, to try and better explain, is while we can’t ever go back in time to correct things we feel we’ve done or said wrong, we can choose to make better choices in the days that follow. Those choices of course might not always have the impact or direct the type of change we’d like or believe we’re capable of; For example, you can tell your ex-spouse you’re sorry for cheating on them until you’re blue in the face, and they might still never forgive you for it, but you can begin taking steps to ensure you don’t engage in that behaviour again (if that’s what you’re aiming for).

As I mentioned in the first post for this track-by-track, Quiksand is about the spiral that comes from a traumatic experience, or you can look at it as being the spiral that comes from making what you later perceive as the “wrong” choice.

With that in mind, if Quiksand is the spiral, then “Such Great Heights” is the ladder.

And that ladder can take several forms. It can be the sense of euphoria you get in the crowd of a concert for your favourite band, or it can be the moment you choose to file for divorce, apply for a new job, buy that plane ticket that takes you to that city you’ve always wanted to see.

It’s the choice to move forward, not to dwell, and work towards a goal you can be proud of and become the person you know is screaming inside you to get out.

And it’s about trusting yourself when you make those choices, because they’re choices only you alone can make and decipher for yourself. People have all sort of ideas about what the “right” path is, but if you’re not happy with yourself at the end of the day, it’s time to take a step onto the first ring of the ladder.

Official Lyrics

I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images
And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God Himself did make
Us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

And true it may seem like a stretch
But it’s thoughts like this that catch
My troubled head when you’re away
And when I am missing you to death

When you are out there on the road
For several weeks of shows
And when you scan the radio
I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
Come down now, they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now but we’ll stay

I tried my best to leave
This all on your machine
But the persistent beat
It sounded thin upon listening

And that frankly will not fly
You’ll hear the shrillest highs
And lowest lows with the windows down
And this is guiding you home

And they will see us waving from such great heights
Come down now they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now but we’ll stay
They will see us waving from such great heights
Come down now they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now but we’ll stay

A Little More

I’ve mentioned a couple times at various points that this EP, nor any of the records that came before it, would have existed without my decision to quit drinking last March, and I stand by that every day. But that decision to quit drinking also wouldn’t have come without some support, and it found its way to me in a way I’d never really expected at the time, and even then it would take years for any of it to start to sink in for me personally.

The decision to include a cover song on this record isn’t just about what the song means to me, or what it reminds me of with Sean, or even the words itself but instead who wrote them.

Sometimes when I choose songs to cover by my favourite bands, it’s just in the name of, “this is a really fun song and I think you guys should hear it,” but more often than not, and more-so the further I go with these projects, I take careful consideration to the people that wrote them and how they choose to present themselves publicly.

I’ve often heard celebrities and musicians, when faced with some heat from the media, say things like, “I chose to be a *inset art form* not a role model,” and for me the two are one and the same. The moment you choose to present art in any form publicly you’re choosing to model… something, and in the case of musicians and songwriters, what you’re modelling as far as I’m concerned is yourself and your way of thinking, your ideals.

And when I started thinking about this from my own perspective, what my own ideals are and which ones I want to encourage other people to share about themselves, more often than not I find myself looking for guidance from people like Benjamin Gibbard who wrote this song, who has on some level been honest about his own experiences and doesn’t try to belittle them.

When I mentioned above that my decision came with support, that support took the form of people like Ben just saying things like, “yeah, it became a problem for me so now I just don’t anymore”. I think on one of his livestream’s last year he said something to the tune of “Some people can just have 1 and some people can’t have any, I’m one of those,” it was something I’d heard many people say before but it struck me differently in that moment, for whatever reason. Somehow, it made it safer for me to admit the same.

So that’s why, when faced with a seemingly endless supply of songs to cover to finish off this EP, I spent more time thinking about things like, “but does that songwriter really believe the words they’re saying in this?” as opposed to, “does this song say what I’m looking for right now?”.

And I’ve never met Ben of course, I know virtually nothing about him otherwise, but in the moment I was tracking this EP, I couldn’t think of a better fit.

Hopefully this song resonates with other people who listen to it in a similar way it did for me.

Keep reading the blog series on Jestem Krzywym Lasem:

Track 1: Quiksand (You Are Here!)
Track 2: Driveway
Track 3. Without You
Track 4: Butterflies
Track 5: Such Great Heights (You Are Here!)
Jestem Krzywym Lasem Bonus Blog: Sean Gallagher

If you haven’t had enough, head over to my full-band full-length album “The Clearing” released under Crooked Forest and it’s 10-track blog breakdown.

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