Today, CHVRCHES released their mastered version of their latest single “Gun”:
“Gun” is one of my favorite CHVRCHES tracks, so here is a story of the start of a friendship that coincided with the end of a relationship.
Earlier this year, I ran away to the UK to try to get myself out of my head to stop dwelling on a breakup. I found out that my ex had left me for someone else and – more painful – why and how my ex left me for that person. It just so happened that CHVRCHES had a short tour throughout the UK in late February, so I decided to see them to make myself feel better.
A few weeks before I left for the UK, I told my ex that I missed her and the other confusing feelings I had at that time about the break up. She said, among other things, “I think it’s probably a good idea for you to figure out how you feel about everything.” I tried to explain how I felt to her, but we didn’t really go further than that.
She said she wanted to do the best thing for me.
While I was at the UK shows (Thekla at Bristol and the Arches in Glasgow shows), I heard a lot of CHVRCHES tracks that hadn’t been released yet. One of them was “Gun.”
I couldn’t stop listening to it after I got back to the US.
Fast forward to CHVRCHES’s first US show at the Independent in San Francisco. I went there with one of my friends and became friends with her friends that night.
When CHVRCHES released the single version for “Gun” today, one of the friends I made that night Facebook Chatted me telling me how excited she was about it. We talked about that first discussion we had about CHVRCHES and how I felt about the track.
I said that it sounded like a really sad but scary break up song.
In fact, in the first verse, Lauren Mayberry sings “You had better run from me with everything you own ’cause I am gonna come for you with all that I have. I am gonna break you down to tiny tiny parts. I never believed, but I see it now. I’m learning your lesson. I’m learning your lesson.”
The bridge, especially with its intense, staccato bass beat, sounds like the livid words of someone who just realized they were betrayed by someone who must have felt so proud of what they did: “Did it make you feel so clever? Did you wear it on your sleeve? Did you see another picture where I was not a part so far entwined?”
The line “Did you see another picture where I was not a part so far entwined?” always made me sad because it reminded me that my ex must have hoped for and imagined a life that didn’t involve me romantically once she met the new girl. Not having the baggage of an already-occurring relationship would have been a relief.
That’s followed by a few more lines and then the chorus, which sound like the words of someone looking for (possibly violent – hopefully just metaphoric violence) revenge: “Hide. Hide. I burned your bridges. I will be a gun, and it’s you I’ll come for… I’ll see that you won’t go far.”
(That’s the part my friend and I said sounded the craziest. Somewhat like lyrics pulled from “Pumped Up Kids” by Foster the People.)
Then the next verse comes in with “Who are you to tell me how to keep myself afloat? I treaded water all the while you stuck in the knife that you held at my back.”
That part always reminds me of how my ex told me “I think it’s probably a good idea for you to figure out how you feel about everything” as if she were being helpful. I mean, it’s true – I needed to figure out how I felt, but her statement and the way it was delivered just made me feel as if she was invalidating the feelings I told her I had at the time. It also felt like a stab because I knew what was going on.
And that’s why I always feel as if this is the ultimate break up song – at least for that break up. It captures the feeling of betrayal, the desire for some type of revenge to make up for being made a fool of, and even the curiosity of how the other person must have thought of you before, during, and after what they did.