“There was a kind of potion that was coming together and brewing around the moments leading up to writing this song and the overall feeling of it,” Celeste started. She lives in London, however had been touring to Los Angeles since late 2017 to collaborate with different songwriters. Her supervisor, Duncan Ellis, had picked her up from a recording studio on the west facet of city they usually had been driving east towards Silver Lake. Looking out the window, she felt a way of déjà vu.
“I saw this building emerge, and it was a hospital. My dad had lived in the U.S. and he passed away from cancer 10 years ago, when I was 16. That hospital was the last place I saw him,” she stated, wanting away from the digicam on the desk in entrance of her.
When she noticed the hospital, “it caught me very unexpected,” she continued. “My stomach dropped. I remember hiding from my manager and leaning out the car window, because I didn’t expect to feel that in just passing a building.” She felt, she added, that she was approaching “a sort of abyss.”
Other experiences went into the music, too. There had been wildfires blazing throughout California that had destroyed the home of a pal’s mom, and she or he had attended the Camp Flog Gnaw music competition, the place ash thickened the air. The subsequent day, she stated, “I could barely speak, because I’m sensitive to smoke. In my mind, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve lost my voice. I’ve literally ruined my life.’ I was putting so much on singing that it just felt like the worst loss of all.”
The subsequent day, she and Hartman had been within the studio and he performed her a couple of quiet chords that instructed unease. “I took a much quieter and softer approach,” she stated. “That was informed by the chord progression, but also, I was trying to conceal the fact that my voice was weaker. I had such a clear and loud thought: ‘This is an important song. Take your time with it.’”
The completed association was Hartman’s sparse piano chords performed by way of a software program plug-in that muted the trebly excessive finish, Celeste’s voice and a string quartet association, which she described as “quite off kilter and a bit sinister,” performed by Sebastian Plano, an Argentine composer who lives in Berlin.