Today marks the Monday of a week capped by another Borrow Tomorrow visit to Chicago. The boys will make their debut at the venerable Martyrs‘ on the north side of the city, kicking off a cool night of music featuring Surrender Dorothy and headlined by friends On The Run.
The City of Broad Shoulders is currently home to me, but it’s quickly becoming something of a second home for the band as we’ve been welcomed with open arms each time we’ve taken the stage at venues like the House of Blues, Goose Island, and Wise Fools Pub. I’ve drawn inspiration from the sights and the sounds of bustling urban existence, and it’s most prevalent in one of Borrow Tomorrow’s newest tunes: Wicker Park Suite.
I’d written nearly all of the lyrics and most of the tune months before I finally decided to put the finishing touches on it and present it to the guys for feedback. I was a new resident at the time, still trying to become acclimated with my surroundings and all that a big city had to offer in contrast to my years in smaller Indiana towns. It was all at once exciting, overwhelming, and foreign, and the particular night about which “…Suite” was written was the first time I’d been to the Wicker Park neighborhood. In fact, I was invited by a very good friend of mine (a new friend at the time) to see a band play at the Double Door. Walking through the streets that night I was particularly struck by the electricity–literally in the store fronts, street lights, and neon signage–and figuratively among the pockets of people meandering about the sidewalks and cafes. It was, then and there, the true-life recreation of what I’d imagined life in “the city” to be like–alive with activity–all with movie-set-like precision. The opening line of the song refers to this too-good-to-be-true feeling, as if behind the brick and glass of the buildings I’d sadly discover a facade with guts of 2×4’s and cardboard.
Other references include the Damen Blue Line station, the DD’s photobooth, and the details of an outsider’s journey to desperately find a place amidst something “bigger” than just himself. The weight of life pales in the shadows of the great man-made structures. The freedom of youth the catalyst, the longing for and discovery of purpose the goal.
And so it goes.
We’re working closely with a very good of the band’s to release a new disc in the coming weeks, and Wicker Park Suite will be among the new recordings. If you haven’t gotten a chance to hear it yet, you needn’t wait for the release. Come out and see us at Martyrs’ on Friday the 5th!