As the seasons change and the end of the year creeps near, we’ve asked our contributors to pick their favorite lyrics of 2016 — so far.
— Brenna Ehrlich, Talkhouse Music Editor-in-Chief
“I’m spilling my drink as I really start/tearing one of my best friends apart/she’s getting uneasy and my drunken speech ends/as my hand finds its way to hers/and I say ‘you know I’ve never really met someone like you’/Jeremy walks over/and to my surprise Sherry puts her arm around his side.”
— Andy Shauf, “Quite Like You,” The Party
My favorite album of the year, lyrically speaking, is The Party by Andy Shauf. It’s a sweetly sad song cycle revolving around a group of close friends in a small town (perhaps Shauf’s native Regina, Saskatchewan) attending a party and doing the dumb, brave, joyful and hurtful things that intoxicated young people tend to do when gathered together.
For me, the album’s lyrical highlight is “Quite Like You,” a quietly devastating cautionary tale against putting down others for personal gain. The protagonist encounters his close friend Jeremy’s girlfriend, Sherry, at the party. She’s crying because, as usual, Jeremy’s being a stoned asshole and has hurt her feelings for the umpteenth time.
It turns our narrator’s always harbored a secret thing for Sherry, and, emboldened by drink and a misinterpreted comment from Sherry, proceeds to not only confess his feelings for her, but shit-talk his good friend in the hopes that she’ll finally see the light and get together with the guy that, in his mind, will treat her right. In the heartbreaking final line, Jeremy stumbles over and Sherry makes it clear that she’s standing by her man after all.
(Art credit: Dan Schmatz)