Autumn (or fall, depending on where you are) is a confusing time for me. In some ways it seems like the world is wrapping up and slowing down... Taking stock and calming down. And yet it seems like work gets even more crazy than usual and everyone wants a little more time, plus there are all those gifts to buy, and plans to make.
I’m not totally sold on the whole shorter days and colder weather thing, but I like the falling leaves and that hour of golden sunlight we seem to get at the end of the day just fine.
I digress, and yet the reason I bring this all up is that Victoria Bigelow’s Blame sounds like the perfect song for autumn. It has a sound that I can only describe as golden. It feels a little older and wiser, yet not so old and wise that it isn’t still capable of making a few more mistakes. It is the sound of slowing down and yet it is still so obviously wrapped up in feeling. It is a gentle shuffle, beautiful vocal harmonies and something that I can’t put my finger on that feels deeply Scandinavian.
Blame is taken from Victoria’s forthcoming EP Going Blue, her first release in nine years. Having moved to Nashville to write music at 15, she got her first TV sync at 16 but then a series of events led her to stop pursuing music. A surprise pregnancy at 22, and the subsequent birth of her son Elliot, were the triggers that ultimately brought her back to music at the age of 24:
“It was becoming a mother that forced me to get over my own shortcomings and insecurities and actually relentlessly pursue a career in music again. Having Elliott and being responsible for another person's wellbeing forces me daily to reflect and take stock of the person I currently am, the person I used to be, and the person I would like to grow to be. The way I feel about myself and how hard I work will directly impact Elliott, and he deserves a strong, motivated, confident role model for a mother. If it wasn’t for all the shit I experienced and felt I wouldn’t be the person nor writer I am, so it all works out.”
A negative relationship in Bigelow’s late teens was one of the factors that temporarily derailed her musical ambitions, yet that relationship ultimately helped inspire this new song. It’s a track that touches on infidelity and violence - something that comes through in a heartbreaking line “I’m the one, the reason you’re punching walls again” quickly followed up with “I’m the one, the reason you’re lying in her bed again”. That sense of complicity and blame and resentment all at the same time feel so contradictory and yet somehow vulnerable and true. Explaining how she feels about the song, Bigelow says:
“It’s a reflective piece, understanding now the consequences of my own actions and realizing in retrospect that we both were guilty of the same wrongdoings. I find it way easier to write about intense or painful experiences once I’ve made it out of them and into a clearer head space. 'How could I blame you, I wouldn’t love me at all' is a self-deprecating, slightly sarcastic response to him cheating.”
It isn’t often you hear a song as packed full of feelings as this one. Check out Blame below and look out Going Blue soon.