Welcome to HeartSongs, our regularly scheduled (probably) look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Benjamin Shaw about his new single ‘Terrible Feelings!’.
“I think ‘Terrible Feelings!’ was the first song I really sat down to write for this album. And the first new song I’d come up with in what felt like a very long time. The title came first definitely (with punctuation and everything - some of my finest work I think) and even became the inspirational album title for a while, Benjamin Shaw sings… Terrible Feelings!, I still think I missed a trick there.
At risk of a lawsuit, I’m pretty sure the melody came to me while I was listening to the only other artist from my home town of Blackpool in the UK, Jack Cooper. I’m not even sure which song because I can’t pick it out now, but the melody was nothing like his (I swear). I quickly turned it off and recorded mine on my phone there and then, and built on it from there - repeating and moving patterns and found sounds on the laptop, which seems to have become my way over the years. Shouts out Jack Cooper, he doesn’t know me, but his album Sandgrown is sweet.
Lyrically, as with most of my songs, it started out as a collection of short insults about my work colleagues that I put into Google Keep whenever they come into my head. My Google Keep is substantial. And then, as always, when I sit down to try and arrange the insults into an actual song and do something creative, my own head starts creeping in and the songs quickly descend into self-obsessed artistic terror, self-pity, and in this case, Dirty Dancing references.
I’m a big fan of this song though. It felt like a turning point after having not written much for a good few years. I’d finally come up with an actual song, even if it was just terrible feelings.”
Listen to ‘Terrible Feelings!’ here
Hey apocalypse, it's nice to know you still be trying
To lift me by the hips
And make believe like I be flying away,
you're all terrible people, with terrible clothes, go away
but I don't care, I got no dog in the race
So do me a solid, do me again and again
terrible feelings but I got nothing to say
Aw hey its you, I don't forget a face
Naw I'll do it, it's a piece of cake
ah've nothing to hide, I just wanna go home today
oh it'll blow over, everyone makes mistakes