Better Days is a song for a friend who was feeling very lonely and dark about what was going on in their life. They had hit a blind spot with everything round them. As hard as I try, I have never been that good at giving advice to people – never being able to find the right words to help. So instead, I decided to try and help through the medium of a song and through lyrics.
As well as this, I also wanted to delve into something a little more ‘zeitgeist’ and write about the stuff going on in the world at the moment. Essentially, it is a song about hope and holding on.
The hook, ‘Wipe the blues off your cheek. Better days are coming, just wait and see’, was written first. I had that line for quite a few months, with a different melody and guitar part, but it never really went anywhere. It wasn’t until I had this conversation with said-friend that it occurred to me where this song should go. I then built the rest of the song around that hook.
When writing the guitar part, I was very inspired by the rhythmic guitar style of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. This was around the time I was discovering alternative tunings, so this song was written in DADF#AD. Previously, the hook was in a standard tuning and it sounded really mundane and claustrophobic – like it didn’t have space to grow.
One of my favourite things about this song, both playing it live and on the recording is the bass line that Max Hanley created. It’s a melody that forever gets stuck in my head and we’ve always loved playing it so much both as a band and duo.
You may have noticed that, if you’ve listened to the acoustic ‘Robin’ EP, it was previously recorded just with a guitar and vocals. I have always loved this song done acoustically because of the rhythmic elements that the guitar part lends. However, it has been so much fun giving it a different take by bringing other instruments to the table. It’s nice to have the elasticity with Better Days to be able to do both.