Never Come Back Again - Soft Walls

from the album No Time (2014)

There is an old joke about two bulls standing at the top of a hill, looking down on a meadow of cows.  The younger bull wants to rush down the hill and have sex with one of them.  The older bull suggests a more patient approach.

It is often the same with music.  The punks behaved like young bulls, rushing straight into the song with the lyrics falling right behind.  As Dee Dee Ramone said "1-2-3-4."

As punk transitioned into goth and dark wave, bands like The Cure differentiated themselves with extended introductions.  These arrangements allowed listeners to be swept into the groove and immersed in the moment before Robert Smith's distinct vocal stylings took hold.  It was totally captivating.

Lately, I have found myself enamored with the space between the notes.  I have been thinking of music as "sculpted," starting out with every instrument playing an endless string of 1/16th notes, then having notes removed until the barest essence of the song remains.

There are two ways to create space: remove notes and slow down the tempo.  When done correctly, the space allows the remaining instruments or vocals to be more greatly enjoyed.  There is a beauty in sparse that anyone who has ever stumbled upon a flower growing from a sidewalk crack can understand.

Never Come Back Again by Soft Walls has become one of my favorite tunes of 2014.  For nearly a minute, we are mesmerized by a lo-fi keyboard and drums.  Then enters a bass guitar, laying down a driving groove with an infectious octave laced hook.  Vocals enter at around the minute-forty-two mark.  The effect is astonishing.  The song has created space despite a quick tempo.  Perhaps it is the long sustain on the keys.  Not sure.  But I dig it to no end.

The repeated lyric says "I wish this feeling would never come back again."  But I hope it never goes away.

Click Here to listen to Never Come Back Again on SoundCloud.


  1. Zen to core, complicated but in simplicity like a cherry blossom. Dichotomy of components in chaos to to create a calm that is at first annoying, but that you can look forward to hearing - weird but pleasant. This is a true implementation of Wabi Sabi, in that it is near perfect but just not complete, as if to pay homage to the gods for allowing harmonics to exist. I had my moment with this song, and it was short, but felt like forever...


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