Chewing Cotton Wool

Today, I’m delving into the archives of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour again… there were many great songs on his BBC Slow Sunday episode (October 25, when the British Isles left daylight savings time, a day when the station’s show hosts all played “chill” music.

My selection for today played right after another song I posted last week, This Is the Kit’s “Coming to Get You Nowhere.”

While the playlist for the episode lists The Japanese House’s song, “You Are the Reason,” it was actually “Chewing Cotton Wool” that Garvey featured. I’d never heard of the band before but checked out a few of their songs after hearing them on the show. Of the few pieces I heard, nothing appealed to me and certainly not as much as “Chewing Cotton Wool.” Some of them were slightly boring, often overpowered by electronic percussion.

Oddly titled, today’s song was a recommendation to Garvey by his guest, actor Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to play the lead role in the British TV series, Dr. Who. (No stranger to BBC 6 Music, some years ago, Whitaker hosted an instalment of the BBC feature, Wise Women, which she opened with the song “Go!” by Public Service Broadcasting – a track I posted in January, soon after beginning this blog and hearing the episode archive on the BBC Sounds app.) 

Talking with Garvey on his program, Whitaker introduces “Chewing Cotton Wool” as a song about love ending. It has an ethereal, synthpop sound, nicely instrumented. It reminds me a little of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek,” another similarly themed piece, but one I find has even more emotional weight to it.

If you’ve lost a love to a breakup or death, the singer’s words will probably resonate and evoke empathy and sadness about that empty space, though gratitude as well, for those things treasured in life. I don’t know the significance of the title; perhaps it’s a British expression or figure of speech, though I’ve never heard it from family.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the song from The Japanese House’s SoundCloud account

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